Vol. V No. 24 - Saturday June 10, - June 16, 2006
Home
Automania
News
Book-Movies-Music
Columns
Community
Happenings
Dining Out & Entertainment
Features
Academia Nuts
Social Scene
Sports
Travel
Who's who
Cartoons
 
Free Classifieds
Back Issues
Updated every Saturday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern
 

 


TRAVEL & TOURISM
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

The Chedi Chiang Mai welcomes local Skål Club

Thai carrier announces non-stop flights to South Africa

A Malaysian Disneyland?

Tourist centres unaffected by severe floods in North

Thailand one million off the mark

Malaysia gets tough with owners of pirated goods

The Chedi Chiang Mai welcomes local Skål Club

Reinhard Hohler
The newly opened The Chedi Chiang Mai welcomed 50 members and guests of Skål International Chiangmai and North Thailand for this month’s meeting. Eleanor Hardy, the Chedi’s GM and local secretary of Skål International, welcomed the Skal group to her hotel.
MC Michael Vogt, spoke on his new assignment with the Panthip Group of Companies to oversee the rapid development of the night bazaar area in Chiang Mai. He also introduced the new General Manager of the Chiangmai Mail, Australian Murray Dickson, who will now direct Chiang Mai’s first English language newspaper into an even brighter future.
Many new faces were present at this May meeting, including Ivan Casadevall who is the new General Manager of the Anantara Resort and Spa Chiang Rai. The next meeting of Skål International Chiangmai and North Thailand will be held at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai on June 29, 2006, whilst the most important Skal function in Thailand will be the Skal World Congress which will be held in Pattaya in October 15-20 this year.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Skal Club, contact the Secretary Eleanor Hardy by email to [email protected] or by fax to 0-5325-33 92.


Thai carrier announces non-stop flights to South Africa

Thai Airways International announced it will begin offering non-stop flights between Bangkok and Johannesburg, South Africa, a regional sales director said last week.
The service, which will start in November, is expected to address demand for business travel from gem and precious metal dealers as well as increased tourism, said Dullayapong Sukhanusas, Thai Airway regional sales director for Europe and Africa.
The nonstop flights will run three times a week and are expected to also attract regional businessmen from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
“Advanced bookings have already reach between 30 percent and 40 percent for November and December,” Dullayapong said. “The passenger load for the first month will be satisfactory.”
The flights will start with a promotional rate in November of 30,000 baht (US$785; €612) and are part of Thai Airways long-haul business strategy and follow the recent opening of nonstop flights from Bangkok to New York, Moscow and Los Angeles.
Thailand’s national carrier will use two, Boeing B777-200ER aircraft for the 11-hour flights, which are its first ever non-stop flights to Africa. The new aircraft seat 292 passengers. (AP)


A Malaysian Disneyland?

By James Arean (eTN Asia)
Rumours are rife in Malaysia that Tokyo Disneyland might set up a theme park in the southern state of Johor, just across from neighboring Singapore.
According to published reports, Malaysian government-linked company UEM World is negotiating with Oriental Land - the Japanese company which operates Tokyo Disneyland - to create Disney ‘magic’ in a 2,000 acre land area.
Talk of a theme park in Johor has circulated in the past. A number of theme parks have already sprouted in the SE Asian region, the most recent being Hong Kong, which apparently isn’t proving to be very magical. Shanghai is planning one too.
It will be interesting to find out what the target demographic of a Malaysian Disneyland would be. Certainly not neighbouring Singaporeans who would think a Disneyland in Malaysia may not be the “real thing.”
Moreover, Singapore is likely to get its own theme park when the government awards the license for the second integrated resort in its Sentosa Island. The license for the first integrated resort went to Las Vegas Sands which will develop a multi-billion dollar complex which includes entertainment, hotels, convention centre and a casino.
To build a theme park of this magnitude, location is crucial and the southern state of Johor isn’t exactly prime location. It isn’t an air hub which makes it difficult to attract regional and international tourists. One would need to transit through the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur or through Singapore. Using Malaysia’s low-cost carrier AirAsia to support this - as some might envisage - would have its own problems.
A theme park cannot exist by itself so it calls for development of hotels and related facilities. Developers of hotels, for instance, need a critical mass and decent yield before they would commit.
A Malaysian Disneyland also begs the question— Would a Malaysian Disneyland in Muslim-dominant Malaysia still feature Porky Pig and Goofy, the dog?
Pigs are considered haram in Islam and Muslims are forbidden to eat pork. Dogs are seen as impure.
A Malaysian newspaper has just reported that novelty pig calendars and toys have been banned from a council office - in case they offend Muslim staff. Workers at the department were told to remove or cover up all pig-related items, including toys, porcelain figures, calendars and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.
Currently, Malaysian government officials are refusing to commit either way on the suggested theme park proposals.


Tourist centres unaffected by severe floods in North

Tourist attractions in Thailand’s flood-affected northern provinces were not affected by the recent severe floods, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) confirmed saying that tourists could access the attractions as normal.
TAT Advertising and Public Relations Department Director Vunsadej Thavarasukha said that information from local TAT offices indicated that the damaged areas were mostly farmland and lowlands, and that tourists could access the famed tourist attractions normally, including Sukhothai Historical Park, Srisatchanalai Historical Park, Tung Luang Handicraft Village and Ramkhamhaeng National Park in Sukhothai Province.
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has announced that the northern line railway is still under maintenance although it was expected that the SRT would open the northern line train service from June 7 onwards. However, passengers wanting to visit the northern province of Chiang Mai may have to transfer to bus services between Uttaradit and Phrae before catching a train to Chiang Mai.
According to Vunsadej, visitors are still coming to tourist sites in Tak province including Bhumibol Dam. Tourists can also still access Tak’s Teelorsoo waterfall although the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department announced earlier that vehicles were not allowed entry to Um Phang Wildlife Reserve from the beginning of June through to October 31. Tourists can enter Um Phang Wildlife Reserve only by foot. (TNA)


Thailand one million off the mark

Thailand recorded 11.5 million visitors last year - one million below the target, according to recently released official figures, which show arrivals to Thailand last year dropped 1.15 per cent compared to 2004.
The number of visitors from Malaysia, Thailand’s main market, fell 2.2 per cent in 2005 on the year to 1,373,946 visitors.
Arrivals from Japan, Thailand’s second biggest market, dropped 1.28 per cent on the year to 1,196,654, while arrivals from third-ranked Korea plummeted 9.18 per cent to 816,407 visitors.
The UK was the kingdom’s main European market in 2005, increasing 2.19 per cent on the year to 777,843, whilst arrivals from the US rose 1.94 per cent in 2005 to 639,658. Arrivals from Australia fell 7.32 per cent to 428,521.
The TAT has targeted 13.8 million tourists this year. (TTG)


Malaysia gets tough with owners of pirated goods

Malaysia is taking a tough stance against disc piracy. Anyone caught carrying pirated CDs, DVDs, VCDs and software into or out of the country is liable to be fined between RM2,000 (US$549.45) and RM20,000 for each infringing copy and jailed for five years under the Copyright Act.
Even tourists are not spared, with “Stop Piracy! Why Ruin Your Holidays!” posters displayed prominently at major airports. These posters also warn of the consequences of flouting the law.
At a recent press conference, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry director-general, Mr Mohd Rozlan Mahayudin, said: “We want tourists to know that it is a crime to keep pirated CDs, DVDs, VCDs and software in their luggage.” (TTG)



Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
189/22 Moo 5, T. Sansai Noi, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210
THAILAND
Tel. 053 852 557, Fax. 053 014 195
Editor: 087 184 8508
E-mail: [email protected]
www.chiangmai-mail.com
Administration: [email protected]
Website & Newsletter Advertising: [email protected]

Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Advertisement