BUSINESS & TRAVEL
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Chaophya Park Hotel wins top Green Award

TAT meets 2007 targets, sets new benchmark

Chiang Mai to get leg up with links to global cities

Chaophya Park Hotel wins top Green Award

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) together with the Green Leaf Foundation recently bestowed a prestigious environmental award on the Chaophya Park Hotel, Bangkok. The “Thailand Tourism : Environment Friendly Hotels Award ” was presented by the Minister of Tourism and Sports H.E. Dr. Suvit Yodmani at a special award ceremony in Bangkok.

Lamphong Booddar, (left) Vice President of the Hotel’s Environmental Task Force, receives the award on behalf of the Chaophya Park Hotel.
Organised to commemorate the auspicious occasion of His Majesty the King’s 80th Birthday Anniversary celebrations by the TAT and the Green Leaf Foundation. The award received 151 hotel entries with only a small handful making it to the final selection process.
The Chaophya Park Hotel is notable as being an environmentally conscious establishment reflecting the award’s objective in recognising meritorious contributions within the hotel industry.
“We are immensely proud of this award not only because it means our work is receiving recognition but it will also make other hotels or large establishments more aware that there are means of preserving the environment,” commented Andrew J. Wood General Manager of the Chaophya Park Hotel.
“In the past 4 years we have pursued an ambitious program to help the hotel become increasingly aware of the impact we have within our society and community and how we can become greener with regards to our environmental responsibilities. Our most rewarding project so far is switching from diesel burning boilers to heat pumps and LPG with its primary objective in cutting down the use of diesel fuel completely,” Mr. Wood adds.
The installation of Heat Pumps has not only brought a noticeable reduction in fuel consumption but also certification from The Energy Efficiency Institute (Thailand) that acknowledges the Chaophya Park Hotel as its partner in energy conservation and energy efficiency.
The Chaophya Park Hotel’s General Manager further added, “Various measures have been introduced which include seeking cooperation from guests in reducing the amount of water, detergent and energy without compromising their comfort during their stay with us.”
“We continuously evaluate and explore techniques that the hotel can adopt to follow on the path of ecological preservations. We firmly believe that every little effort adds to the bigger picture and the future of this planet is in all of our hands.”
This award is truly a mark of recognition that the Chaophya Park Hotel is a symbol of quality and cares passionately about the environment.


TAT meets 2007 targets, sets new benchmark

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has reconfirmed its confidence on meeting this year’s foreign arrival and revenue targets and announced an ambitious aim to make Thailand one of the world’s top five destinations within three years.
Speaking at the NTO’s 2007 achievement press conference last week, TAT governor, Ms Phornsiri Manoharn, said Thailand was on track to meet this year’s visitor arrival target of 14.8 million tourists and revenue target of 547.5 billion baht (US$18 billion), representing a 7.8 per cent and 13.51 per cent increase on 2006, respectively.
Next year’s targets are 15.7 million tourists and 600 billion baht in revenue.
Ms Phornsiri said the substantial increase in arrivals from key markets - Australia and New Zealand, India, Europe and South Africa - and new markets - the Middle East and Russia, each presenting a growth of between 10 and 20 per cent, were factors attributing to the target prospects.
“This is the result of TAT constantly and aggressively creating a positive image of Thailand in worldwide markets, using more than 18 languages in various promotional tools and materials to encourage tourists to visit the country,” said Phornsiri.
“In addition, Thailand no longer has a low season. Our statistics showed we have been recording more than one million tourists per month since January, which has proved that tourists visit the country even in the traditional low tourist summer months,” she added.
However, she declined to comment on the situation of East Asia arrivals, which had been falling since the beginning of this year.
From January to September this year, Thailand welcomed around 10.40 million visitor arrivals, a 3.1 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. From that total, East Asia still represents the largest market with 4.33 million arrivals (down 1.83 per cent), followed by Europe with 2.7 million tourists (up 14.32 per cent), The Americas with 695,381 arrivals (up 1.46 per cent), South Asia with 605,196 tourists (up 15.19 per cent) and Oceania with 497,535 arrivals (up 21.97 per cent).


Chiang Mai to get leg up with links to global cities

Chiang Mai’s beleaguered tourism industry, which was facing a 10-year low during this year’s low season, looks set to enjoy a brighter future with Thai Airways International’s and JetStar Airways’ plans to link Thailand’s second largest city direct with Tokyo, Shanghai and Sydney next year.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor, Mrs. Phornsiri Manoharn, (2nd right) presided over the main event of the Chiang Mai Tourism Forum (CTF), at the Holiday Inn Chiang Mai on December 8. Joining her to cut the ribbon to open the event are Alan Watts, (left) GM of the Holiday Inn, Boonlert Buranapakorn, (2nd left) former mayor of Chiang Mai and Songvit Ittipatanakul, (right) president of the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association (CTBA).
According to Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Thai national airline and the Australia-based low-cost carrier have expressed interests to operate on the three new regional routes. However, the press offices of THAI or JetStar have not confirmed the news, saying the TAT might have obtained the information from some preliminary discussions.
The city’s tourism operators have been mourning over the insufficient international direct flights despite Chiang Mai Airport being recently upgraded to handle large long-haul aircraft.
To date, there are only nine airlines operating direct regional short-haul flights to Chiang Mai from Kunming, Singapore, Yangon, Luang Prabang, Taipei, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Korean Air and Bangkok Airways are the latest airlines introducing two new regional connections with Seoul and Siem Reap, respectively, since October.
Thai Hotels Association (THA) Northern Upper Chapter president and The Empress Hotel Chiang Mai general manager, Kanog Suvannavisutr, said it was good news if there would be more regional direct flights to Chiang Mai in the future. He said the new Incheon-Chiang Mai route helped to boost the number of South Korean arrivals, but room-nights from this market was still considered minimal.
Mr. Kanog said (THA) Northern Upper Chapter and other concerned public and private sectors planned to leverage on the city’s increasing number of five-star properties to turn Chiang Mai into a MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) destination between next year and 2009 and that promotion campaigns are currently being outlined. (TTG)