Chiang Mai gets into
an island groove as Phuket Road show arrives
A little taste of the Southern islands came to Chiang Mai
on June 18 as the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Phuket office, Phuket
Provincial Administrative Organization, the Phuket Tourism Business
Association and Air Asia held a road show to promote Phuket and the Andaman
area at the Rati Lanna Hotel.
Somrit Haikham, President of the Chiang Mai Guide
Association visited a booth by one of the members of the Phuket road show.
More than 20 booths from the South were on display.
Worakarn Yokying, Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai gave the
welcoming remarks and declared the road show open, saying that these kinds
of activities can help cross promote the provinces and stimulate the
domestic tourist market.
Phuket and Chiang Mai tourist related operators met,
exchanging ideas, and ways to increase the number of tourists and visitors
by not less than 10 percent. Phuket province wants to link tourism between
Phuket and Chiang Mai providing visitors with a greater variety of travel
Mrs. Bang-ornrat Chinaprayoon, Director of TAT’s Phuket
Office said Phuket is regarded as a world class international destination.
“It’s a center of tourism in the South, with about
1,500,000 Thai tourists visiting annually due to the convenience of
travelling. Domestic airlines services operate more than 300 flights per
week, linking air routes among Chiang Mai, Samui, Udon Thani, U-Tapao and
Bangkok. Phuket has more than 160 international flights a week, and offers
more than 40,000 hotel rooms,” she said.
“This road show will link trade, investment, and
travelers of between the two cities,” she noted.
Mrs. Bang-ornrat concluded by adding that while Phuket
offers lovely beaches, islands, and sea food, Chiang Mai compliments that by
offering cultural tourism, forests and mountains and the cool season in
winter with it unique fruits, flowers and scenery.
Tak Bat Dok Mai
Saraburi Province celebrates the beginning of Buddhist Lent along with the
rest of Thailand but adds a unique twist, the offering of the Dok Khao
Phansa, a member of the Globba family, the flower blooms only at the
beginning of Buddhist Lent. Similar in appearance to turmeric or ginger
plants, the flower itself is yellow with violet petals and as it can be
difficult to find, jasmine or rose is considered an acceptable alternative.
Original to Amphur Phra Phutthabat, whose inhabitants
have practiced these offerings for centuries, the event is now province
wide. The “Tak Bat Dok Mai” merit-making ceremony is performed at the Wat
Phra Buddhabat Woramahaviharn, which contains a Buddha’s footprint in stone,
a Royal temple of the first class rank and considered a national landmark,
located in Phra Phutthabat. The Buddha’s Footprint is a natural impression
in limestone rock that resembles a very large footprint. It is 50 cms. wide,
150 cms. long and 30 cms. deep.
The Tak Bat Dok Mai ceremony takes place in the afternoon
of the first day of Buddhist Lent, as a prelude to the event, drum, candle
and dance contests are held. In the ceremony, monks from Wat Phra Buddhabat
Woramahaviharnpass through a long line of people with offerings, these are
then presented as tribute by the monks at the shrine. Merit makers then pour
water over the feet of the monks in the belief that it will wash away their
Eco-tourism seminar teaches the 7 Green rules
Somchai Maichandaeng, Director of Chiang Mai Tourism and
Sports Office, left, Patmas Wongpattasiri, Director of TAT’s Tourism
Products Promotion, center, Dr. Kwanruedee Chotichanathaweewong, Assistant
Chairperson of the Thai Environment Institute with the panel discussing 7
Greens Tourism at the Mercure Hotel.
Northern tourism businesses were urged to cooperate on
following the 7 Greens guidelines for eco and green tourism set out by the
Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Thai Environment Institute at their
regional seminar on June 22.
Mrs. Patmas Wongpattanasiri, Director of Tourism Products
Promotion, TAT, presided over the opening ceremony held at Mercure Hotel,
She said that not only has the travel industry been hard
hit by global warming but that tourism also contributes to global warming in
a cycle of damage. She said the seminar was held with the aim of stimulating
ideas in eco and green tourist activities so that they could apply them to
their own businesses, in turn helping to affect the current climate change.
The TAT along with 22 organizations from government and
private sectors signed a cooperation agreement in Bangkok on June 5 marking
the World Environment Day, to help protect, preserve and conserve the
country‘s natural beauties by launching more green businesses in Thailand.
She added that many European tourists prefer
environmentally friendly destinations and that the TAT will expand the 7
Greens concept throughout the Kingdom. Pilot projects have been designated
for Nan in the North and Koh Samui in the South. Nan still contains virgin
forest and untouched natural beauty that can be opened to tourists in an
environmentally friendly way. Samui, she remarked, has become more sensitive
to environmental concerns, where people in the local community have become
more proactive in dealing with environmental problems.
“It’s really important to promote green tourism that is
environmentally friendly,” Mrs. Patmas said.
She explained the 7 Greens concept as: Green Heart; to
urge tourists to be socially responsible and environmentally aware as well
as to be part of global efforts to help protect and preserve the environment
at all tourist attractions. Green Logistics; to encourage more
environmentally-friendly tourism-related modes of transport to minimize
direct and indirect environmental impact. Green Destinations: to promote
responsibly managed tourist sites that respect the environment. Green
communities: to support community-based tourism in both urban and rural
areas that place greater importance on responsible tourism management, and
that also promote conservation of the environment, local traditions and ways
of life. Green Activities; to promote tourism activities that are well-suited
to local communities and provide visitors with engaging and culturally-enriching
experiences without compromising the integrity of the environment. Green
Service; to urge all tourism-related service providers to create positive
first impressions for visitors, and to win hearts and minds by attaining
higher quality assurance standards whilst demonstrating respect, care and
concern for the environment. Finally, Green Plus; to encourage Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR) among operators by encouraging them to give back
to the communities in which they operate.
Seminars will be held in Bangkok, Pattaya, Nakhon
Ratchasima, and Phuket.