THAI Airways management
promotions in Chiang Mai
Vin Singto, (second from left), THAI’s new sales manager
for Upper Northern Region, succeeding Mr. Thanawat, (third from right). Chao
Dungduen na Chiangmai, Chairperson of Chiang Mai Cultural Council, (center),
surrounded by friends at the recent party.
Thanawat Hiranyalekha, manager of Thai Airways
International sales office, Upper Northern region in Chiang Mai has been
promoted to the position of Manager of Thai Airways in Indonesia.
Friends and colleagues of Thanawat organized a party at the Central
Duangtawan Hotel to celebrate his promotion.
Serenity down the Kwai River
A slow serene cruise down the
Kwai aboard the RV River Kwai.
There is no better way to expose yourself to the majesty
of the Kwai Noi River than aboard the RV River Kwai, the first inland cruise
ship in Thailand.
Based on the designs used by the original Irrawaddy flotilla, founded in
Myanmar in 1865, the newly built ship allows you to enjoy the river in
Its 10 stylish air-conditioned teakwood cabins – each fitted with two single
beds and a bathroom – offers a four-day/three-night cruise exploring the
Kwai Noi River.
With accommodations for only 20 passengers, each one is given a high level
of personalized care.
She journeys upstream for four days and three nights from the upper reaches
of the Kwai Noi River in Kanchanaburi province, western Thailand, to the
shadows of the fabled Three-Pagoda Pass on the border with Myanmar.
There is also a four-day downstream cruise from Daowadung Bridge, some 70km
north of Kanchanaburi Town, to the Mae Klong Dam, a seven-day cruise and
golf cruises (a different course is played each day).
The top deck, three-quarters covered by a canopy, has a bar, dining area and
ample room for passengers to relax. There is an old world opulent charm
about the vessel that is in keeping with the river. Relaxing in a deck chair
sipping champagne, we passed homes on the banks of the river that are a
throwback to another time.
I visited the Hin Dad Hot Spring, which was discovered by Japanese soldiers
during the war, a Mon village, where local students welcomed us with a song,
an elephant farm and the famed Tiger Temple, where the only thing standing
between me a fully-grown tiger was a 60kg monk wielding a bamboo cane.
You do not have to go on the excursions. The highlight was the many hours
spent in my favorite deck chair. I especially loved it at night, when
memories of the bustle of Bangkok dissolved in the face of total serenity on
Prices start from 26,700 baht (US$826) per person. Tel: (66-2) 640-1400,
email: [email protected] cruiseasia.net. (TTG)
The German-Thai Chamber of Commerce has unveiled a major
lifestyle travel exhibition targeting wealthy Thais.
The inaugural Germany: Lifestyle & Travel 08 will be staged at Central World
Hotel and Bangkok Convention Centre in November next year to promote
lifestyle products in Germany’s south, home to high-performance Porsche
cars, wine regions and deluxe hotels.
The exhibition’s promotion manager, Dr Raimund Cerny, said special VIP
programmes would be tailor made to target wealthy Thais. Dr Cerny said some
70,000 Thais visited Germany last year, making it Thailand’s most preferred
European destination in front of the UK. He said Thai arrivals to Germany
increased between six and 12 per cent each year, with visitors spending
between US$120 and US$150 a day on average. TTG
Airline alliance oneworld is adding several new members to its network from
Apart from Japan Airlines and five JAL associates joining as affiliate
members, Royal Jordanian Airlines becomes oneworld’s first Middle East
MalÚv Hungarian Airlines is also joining and LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador
will become affiliate members. According to a oneworld statement, Hong
Kong’s Dragonair will also be part of the alliance later in the year. TTG
As part of its new luxury product strategy, Qantas is introducing a new
designer amenities collection, by famous Australian industrial designer Marc
Newson, to first- and business-class passengers.
Qantas is also introducing a new range of luxury designer soft furnishings
and tableware, including bone china crockery produced by Noritake, with
further enhancements throughout the year. In May, it will extend new
designer products to ground operations with the opening of new Marc Newson
designed First Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne. (TTG)
Tourism Authority worried
over drop in tourists
A sharp drop in arrivals from East Asia, Thailand’s
largest source of tourists is worrying the trade despite healthy growth in
bookings from Europe this year.
In January, the number of arrivals from East Asia dropped by 7.34 per cent
compared to the same month last year. Hong Kong is reported as the most
affected market with a decline of 43.38 per cent, followed by China with
28.74 per cent, Vietnam with 27.52 per cent and Singapore with 21.90 per
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor, Ms Phornsiri Manoharn, said
these markets were sensitive to safety issues, and attributed the drop to
setbacks that continued to affect the Thai tourism industry since last year,
including the New Year’s Eve bombings in Bangkok.
“The market share of arrivals from Europe is just 25 per cent of the overall
tourists to Thailand so I am worried about the drop in arrivals from East
Asia,” Ms Phornsiri said.
Last year’s 7.6 million arrivals from East Asia represented a 55.15 per cent
share in the total 13.8 million tourist arrivals to Thailand. This was an
increase of 19.15 per cent over 2005.
Pathumwan Princess Hotel general manager, Mr Supanit Vimooktanon, said
during the first three months, the hotel suffered a four to five per cent
drop per day in corporate arrivals from Singapore, while the tourist segment
suffered a slight decline. Singapore arrivals represent more than 20 per
cent of the hotel’s business, and growth is not expected this year.
TEZ-Tour managing director, Mr Thongyoo Suphavittayakorn, said besides Hong
Kong, China and Singapore, Thai travel agents had also experienced a 10 per
cent drop in the Japanese market.
He said it was high time all concerned government agencies, not only the
TAT, exercised better crisis communications on all situations and events
deemed to have negative impact on tourism.
To offset declining arrivals from Asia, TAT is organising a tourism
marketing roadshow to Saudi Arabia, Iran, South Africa and China, and is
planning to participate in trade shows to Bahrain, the UAE and France. (TTG)
Three new TAT offices to target
high-yield emerging markets
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is going ahead with its plan to open
three new offices in Dubai, Moscow and Ho Chi Minh City by the end of its
fiscal year for a total budget of 20 million baht (US$627,185).
TAT has 18 offices in Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. Governor, Ms
Phornsiri Manoharn, said the new offices in Dubai and Moscow would bring in
more high-spending tourists from the Middle East and Russia and the Ho Chi
Minh City office would tap expatriates in Vietnam.
TAT executive director for Europe, Mr Satit Nillwongse, who is responsible
for the opening of the Dubai and Moscow offices, said TAT had been in
discussions with Middle East carriers – including Etihad Airways, Emirates,
Qatar Airways, Gulf Air and Royal Jordanian Airlines – to promote Thailand
through their networks.
He said TAT was also seeking partnerships with airlines to organize at least
two familiarization trips this year for some 20 travel agents and media from
the Middle East.
In addition, TAT staged road-shows in Saudi Arabia and Iran the first week
of April. It will also participate in the Arabian Travel Mart in Dubai
between May 1 and 4, and the International Health Tourism fair in Bahrain in
With the new office openings and aggressive tourism marketing activities,
TAT expects to increase arrivals from the Middle East by 20 per cent this
Last year, Thailand received 392,416 arrivals from the Middle East, a 34.13
per cent increase over 2005.
Emirates area manager for Thailand and Indochina, Mr Jeyhun Efendi, told TTG
Asia the opening of the TAT office in Dubai would mean more business for
Thailand. “Passenger traffic from the Middle East to Thailand is growing as
travelers from the region are exploring more of Asia,” he said.
Qatar Airways area manager for Thailand and Cambodia, Mr Rohan Seneviratne,
said the airline had been promoting Thailand in the Middle East for the last
“Many trade shows, familiarization trips and road-shows have been organized
by Qatar Airways (to promote Thailand) and will continue this year as well.
In addition, we have opened Qatar Airways Holidays offices in many countries
and Thailand has been one of the top destinations promoted by us from the
Middle East,” he said.
Mr Seneviratne added Thailand was one of the top tourist destinations for
the Middle East market.
“Thailand has so much potential such as spas, cultural destinations and
beaches to promote traffic from the Middle East. The TAT has also been very
focused on promoting tourism.” However, he added: “There is a need to create
more awareness about what Thailand can offer as a business and tourism
Mr Nillwongse said TAT would leverage on the wealth of Thailand’s spas,
shopping and medical treatment options when promoting the country in the