Photography business meeting discusses rise in digital camera sales
The 7th National Photography Business Meeting was held in Chiang Mai on July
26th and 27th at the Denchai Trading Company. Among the issues discussed was
the rapid increase in the use of digital cameras and its impact on photo
The meeting, hosted by Chiang Mai Photo Club, brainstormed ideas as to how
photo labs can cope with declining demand for processed pictures. With
traditional film photography decreasing rapidly and increasing numbers of
people switching to digital cameras, many photo lab businesses are finding
it difficult to keep pace with technology. Many customers using digital
cameras opt not to process their photos, instead keeping them on their
computers or burning them onto a CD-ROM. In Chiang Mai alone the number of
film processing labs has dropped from around 1500 to around 1000 labs. Many
well-known film manufacturers, including Kodak, have stopped producing film
President of the Chiang Mai Photo Club, Chalermchat Nakarangkul, said that
this problem was not exclusive to Thailand, but was faced by film processing
Embattled Night Safari to pay tour operators commission
In an effort to boost visitor numbers, Chiang Mai Night Safari is offering a
commission to travel agents that encourage visitors to go to see the safari.
Red mini-bus operators, Lanna Transport Cooperative, have also agreed to
help boost Night Safari visitor numbers. For up to 9 visitors, travel agents
will receive a commission of 10% of the ticket charge; for over 10 visitors
they will receive 20% of the ticket charge. This offer is part of a
marketing plan to encourage more visitors, especially Thais, to go and see
the safari, Phisarn Wasuwanit, director of Chiang Mai Night Safari
Administration Office, disclosed.
Almost 3,000 red mini-buses drivers have recently agreed to associate with
the safari; a partnership which has helped to raise visitor numbers to
between 1000 and 2000 tourists a day, or a 5-10 % increase. Ticket prices
for Thai adults are 250 baht and 125 baht for children whilst foreign adults
are charged 500 baht and 250 baht for children.
Surasak Wiriya, committee chairman of the Northern Vehicle Rental Club,
revealed that club members also cooperated with the Night Safari, providing
up to 500 vehicles to pick up and deliver visitors to the attraction.
Additionally, the club recently promoted a tour program to the safari which
has attracted considerable interest.
Ton Wongkaew, president of Lanna Transport Cooperatives, revealed that 40
members of the cooperative were providing a service to pick up visitors from
Thapae Gate and take them directly to the safari; inducements offered by the
safari were also proving effective in persuading the red mini-bus drivers to
take more tourists to visit there. He accepted, however, that the number of
visitors picked up by red mini buses was quite small, but he hoped it would