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Next Mekong Tourism Forum To Take Place In Pakse, Laos

Nok Mini announces first international route

Playhouse puts Chiang Mai back on track with a peace festival


Next Mekong Tourism Forum To Take Place In Pakse, Laos

The 2010 Mekong Tourism forum was held in Siem Reap in Cambodia,
Laos will host the next event to be held at Pakse,
Champasak province in southern Laos, in May 2011.

The 2011 Mekong Tourism Forum will take place in the emerging destination of Pakse, Champasak province, southern Laos, in May 2011. The announcement was made by the Lao National Tourism Administration at the end of a revitalised Mekong Tourism Forum, which attracted a larger-than-expected audience of 213 delegates and closed 8 May in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Mr Sounh Manivong, Director General, Planning & Cooperation, in the LNTA, told delegates that Champasak was an emerging destination with the largest waterfall in Southeast Asia and attractions such as Four Thousand Islands in the Mekong River. The area is known as an ecotourism retreat with wild nature, ancient temples and quiet riverside lodges.

Closing this year’s forum, which was hosted by Cambodia, the country’s Minister for Tourism, Dr Thong Khon, told delegates that Cambodia was committed to enhancing intraregional connections and diversifying its own offerings.

“In 2009, we strived hard to diversify from the cultural sites of Siem Reap-Angkor to the coastal zones,” said Minister Thong. “We hope that more flights will be connected to the costal zones as well as cruise ships. Railway links from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville are under reconstruction.”

During the forum, themed “New Roads, New Opportunities,” businesses such as The Gibbon Experience, Khiri Travel, Asian Overland Travel, Hanuman Travel and Green Discovery, and Bangkok Airways stressed the importance of innovation.

Organisations such as the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Thailand’s Community-Based Tourism Institute stressed the crucial role of sustainable, small-scale community based projects. Altiva Hospitality and The Pavilion (Cambodia) showed how responsible private sector initiatives could make a profit, respect the environment and create jobs in a region where average income in rural areas can be less than US$2 a day.

Other speakers expressed concerns about border crossings.

Luzi Matzig, Group CEO of Asian Trails, told the forum that governments could easily boost cross-border tourism by slashing the red tape that makes it difficult or impossible to drive to a neighbouring country. “If you want to easily boost tourism, liberate cross-border road traffic,” he said.

Some red tape is being cut. During the forum, Myanmar announced that effective 1 May it was offering visas on arrival at Yangon and Mandalay international airports.

After speaking at the forum this year, Bangkok Airways’ Vice President for Corporate Communications, ML Nandhika Varavarn, said: “It is great that the Mekong Tourism Forum has come back so strong with a big and enthusiastic audience. The forum is once again a relevant meeting place for Mekong region tourism cooperation and innovation.”

The Mekong Tourism Forum was hosted by the Ministry of Tourism Cambodia with financial support from the USAID-funded ASEAN Competitiveness Enhancement project and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office. The 25 booths at this year’s Mekong Tourism Forum sold out quickly and were popular with sustainable tourism operators. For further information email to: [email protected] or call the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office at: (+66) 2-612-4150.


Nok Mini announces first international route

Jedsadapong Wongkiew

Nok Mini Air opens a new direct flight, linking Chiang Rai with Xishuangbanna in Yunnan, South China on June 1, 2010.

Xishuangbanna city is growing rapidly both economically and as a tourist destination. It offers several tourist spots, as well as cultural centers, and new economic development projects.

Dr. Jane Charnarong, the Managing Director of Nok Mini Air said the Chiang Rai – Xishuangbanna route is the airline’s first international route, adding that Xishuangbanna has many historical ties with Thailand.

Nok Mini Air will operate daily flights, departing Chiang Rai Airport at 12.00 p.m. (local Thai time) and arriving in Xishuangbanna at 2.00 p.m. (local Chinese time) using a Saab 340 B Aircraft with 33 seats.

The return trip will leave Xishuangbanna Airport at 2.p.m. (local Chinese time), and arrive Chiang Rai Airport at 2.p.m. (local Thai time). The ticket is priced at 5,600 baht a person per trip, the airline officials said.

Playhouse puts Chiang Mai back on track with a peace festival

On Sunday-June 6, 2010 from 5:00 pm 10 pm the Playhouse Entertainment Complex is thrilled to host “Chiang Mai, Back on Track. A Peace Festival” in an effort to help raise hopes and spirits and bring a sense of joy back to the area. The day will feature numerous acts and attractions. Gymnastics Demonstrations, live bands, jazz, ballet and Traditional Thai dancers, mini golf, b-boy demonstrations, food and drink and a bouncy castle for the kids.

The Peace Festival is a display of unity to show the world that everyone wants a return to a happy and peaceful Thailand.

For info please call 088-401-2615 for Thai or 089-838-5641 for English (PR) The Entertainment Playhouse Complex is located at 177 Chang Puak Road.