Bangkok Air renovating lounge
at Chiang Mai International Airport
Bangkok Air’s lounge is currently closed, undergoing
renovation A temporary lounge has been set up on the walkway from the domestic
Bangkok Airways recently announced that the passenger lounge at Chiang Mai
International Airport will be closed for renovation for 90 days starting from 9
May 9 to 7 August 2014. A temporary lounge is located on the second floor by the
walkway from the domestic terminal to the international terminal on the east
side of the airport.
VIP and FlyerBonus Premier passengers will be provided with a Meal Voucher worth
250 Baht which can be used at Bangkok Airways’ contracted restaurants such as
Thai Airways Restaurant, McDonald’s, Burger King, Black Canyon, Dairy Queen and
Khao Soi House. Services for partner companies such as AIS and Thai Life will be
temporary cancelled during the renovation period.
1st D-MICE Mart held
in Chiang Mai
Domestic MICE market pushed
to promote the Convention Center
Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo and TCEB
President Nopparat Maythaveekulchai are joined by representatives from
various companies, hotels and organizations at the start of the 1st
D-MICE Mart in Chiang Mai.
Wipanee Intapan and Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The 1st Domestic MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and
Exhibitions) Market was held at the International Convention and
Exhibition Center on May 7, 2014 by the Thailand Convention & Exhibition
Bureau (TCEB) to promote the domestic MICE market and provide local MICE
operators a platform for business matching. The Mart was also held to
promote the bridging of domestic industry collaboration and to promote
Chiang Mai as a world MICE city.
Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, the president of TCEB said, “The MICE Mart
will be a platform for business match-making for local participating
entrepreneurs.” He added that the TCEB has continuously encouraged the
D-MICE market by creating marketing activities and efficiently
developing the domestic MICE industry which has its hubs in the five
MICE cities in Thailand; Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Khon Kaen, and
Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo presided over the opening
ceremony of the event by beating a victory drum after a traditional
Governor Wichien noted in his opening remarks, “Chiang Mai is ready to
be the MICE destination with its “Year of MICE 2013” campaign together
with the 5-year plan for Chiang Mai City. We are ready to be one of the
economic leaders of Thailand and the AEC. Our Chiang Mai International
Convention and Exhibition Center is the best convention hall in ASEAN.”
The 1st D-MICE Mart in Chiang Mai is the second of its kind following
the 1st D-MICE Mart held in Bangkok on March 25th. The Chiang Mai event
was joined by representatives from MICE industry buyers and sellers in
both public and private agencies, companies, hospitality service
providers, airlines, and hotels in Chiang Mai, such as Kantary Hills,
Bangkok Airways, Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai, Chiang
Mai Orchid Hotel, Thai Airways, the Chiang Mai Night Safari, Oasis Spa,
Royal Park Ratchapruek, the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, the
Chiang Mai Cotton Farm Ltd., and many others.
137 Pillars House announces new Executive Chef
Manfred Ilg, General Manager of the 137 Pillars House, recently
announced the appointment of Amporn Choeng-Ngam as Executive Chef. Chef
Amporn will oversee all culinary operations at the hotel, including the
Palette Restaurant. Chef Amporn has extensive experience both in
Thailand and internationally, having held positions in Ukraine, Bali and
Saudi Arabia in addition to several of Thailand’s top properties. In
Saudi Arabia he worked for Princess Hassah bint Abdulaziz Al Saud as a
private chef, overseeing a team of 38 chefs. He believes the secret to
creating flavorful cuisine is all in the preparation, which can often be
very time consuming. He uses special skillets to ensure food can be
cooked without oil. He has won several awards for his cuisine including
both Gold and Silver medals in cooking competitions in Thailand and
BOT reports on Northern Economic situation
Political situation and drop in farm incomes
weighs down consumer confidence
The Bank of Thailand’s Northern branch reported on the
state of the North’s economy for the first quarter of the year recently
noting that the overall economy in March had declined from the previous
month as ongoing political uncertainty coupled with economic conditions and
a drop in farm income saw consumer confidence fall.
Business confidence also fell as both sectors saw a decline in investment
and private consumption and rising caution in spending. The slowdown in
private consumption and investment led to a contraction of domestic-oriented
manufacturing production. Meanwhile, tourism, exports and government
disbursement, while subdued, remained favorable. While inflation increased
the unemployment rate stayed low. In the banking sector deposits growth grew
while credit has fallen.
Demand side softened and the Private Investment Index contracted by 6.8
percent year-on-year, reflecting a decline in key indicators including
permitted construction area in municipalities, import value of machinery and
equipment and numbers of commercial car registration. However, the sale of
construction materials expanded mainly from government construction
The Private Consumption index declined by 5.8 percent as consumers remained
cautious in their spending and consumed principally necessary goods. This
was attributable to a historic low consumer confidence rate due to the
prolonged political unrest and deteriorated household income in both the
agricultural and non-agricultural sectors.
Government disbursements through provincial treasury offices in the Northern
region amounted to 17,467.8 million baht, a 16.4 percent rise following both
current expenditure, in category of ongoing measure subsidies to government
entities, academic institutions and local administrative organizations, and
capital expenditure, in accordance with a progress of ongoing construction
projects which expanded for a second consecutive month.
Export value through the Northern Customs House was recorded at 458.4
million USD, up 13.0 percent in response to increasing demand on electronic
parts and hard disk drive components from Japan and the USA, in line with
exports of consumer goods to Myanmar and Laos. In the meantime, import
value, amounting to 132.1 million USD, shrank by 1.2 percent mainly from
decreased imports of equipment and machinery parts. However, imports of
agricultural products which benefited from the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA),
cattle, furniture and wooden products, expanded.
The supply side contracted with the Manufacturing Production Index dropping
5.9 percent due to the decelerated production in the domestic market,
particularly beverages, rice and sugar. Production of electronic components,
however, grew from external demand for telecommunication, electrical
appliances and automotive equipment.
The Major Crop Production index fell by 1.1 percent due mainly to decreased
output of the second crop rice caused by insufficient water supply from
reservoirs in addition to the adverse effects of drought. Major crop prices
dropped further to 9.7 percent following falling global prices of second
crop paddy, maize and sugarcane due to abundant supply, all of which led
farm income to fall by 10.7 percent.
TheRetail Trade index shrank by 12.4 percent from the sale of automobiles
and relevant products, together with construction materials and electrical
appliances. The tourism sector slowed down after a notable expansion in the
earlier period, especially in the MICE market, in tandem with haze pollution
which started to affect the tourism sector. However, persistent visits of
foreign tourists remained, particularly the Chinese.
Economic stability in the North is considered sound; headline inflation
edged up to 2.37 percent following rising prices of fresh food, notably
meat, vegetables and fruit due to dry and extremely hot weather conditions,
resulting in lesser output which led to an increase in processed food
prices. The unemployment rate was down to 0.5 percent while the number of
registered persons under social security system grew further.
Commercial bank deposits as of February 2014 totaled 598,393 million baht,
up by 9.6 percent mainly from increased deposits of public entities and
academic institutions as well as temporarily relocated deposits from
depositors of some specialized financial institutions as a negative impact
from the political situation. Credits registered 569,954 million baht, grew
by 17.2 percent although it was a decline for the ninth consecutive month
due to the economic slowdown, higher household indebtedness and more strict
consideration of commercial banks lending policies. However, demand for
corporate and consumer loans remained.
Although the economy flagged in the first quarter due to concerns on
political instability as well as drought and haze, exports grew in
accordance with the global economic recovery and the extended cold weather
season boosted inbound tourists to the North. Bank deposits remain strong
and the low inflation and low unemployment rate still give the North a
upply side contracted. Manufacturing Production Index dropped by 5.9 percent
owing to decelerated production for domestic-oriented, particularly
beverages, rice and sugar. Nonetheless, production of electronic components
New more secure 500 baht banknote introduced
The Central Bank has unveiled its latest edition of
500-baht banknote, which was introduced into circulation beginning on May
12. Deputy Governor of the Bank of Thailand (BOT) Tongurai Limpiti said the
new notes will have the exact same size as the current ones, but the
difference between the two is that the new ones will have enhanced security
features to facilitate authentication by banknote sorting machine and
members of the public, including the visually impaired.
The deputy governor anticipated that all of the old 500-baht notes, which
have been used for more than 12 years, will be replaced by the new ones in
two years’ time. The new 500-baht banknote can be exchanged at every
commercial bank across Thailand. (NNT)
BoT Governor certain Thai economic
foundation helps maintain GDP.
Thailand’s central bank governor is confident that the
country’s strong economic foundation will help maintain the gross domestic
product (GDP) despite the current political confusion. Bank of Thailand
(BoT) Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul spoke on the Thai economic tendency
this year, saying that the strong economic fundamentals will help support
the country’s slower economy. He said in the worst case scenario, Thailand’s
GDP will not be in the minus sphere and there will be no economic crisis.
Governor Prasarn Triaratvorakul is confident that Thailand’s strong economic
base will see it through the slowdown caused by political turmoil.
However, political situations must be closely monitored
for further estimates. Mr. Prasarn said the Thai economic foundation could
help the country weather the political problems in the short run, but it
will be worrisome if there are no more investments in the medium term, for
investors are waiting for political clarity.
He noted that the baht currency movement has been stable even during the
moment the Constitutional Court ruled yesterday the case of caretaker Prime
Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The Court dismissed her last week, saying that she has abused of the power
of her office in the case involving her order to transfer National Security
Council (NSC) chief Thawil Pliensri to an inactive post in 2011. (MCOT)
TAT reviews projected number of foreign tourists
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will consider
adjusting its projection of the number of foreign tourists travelling to
Thailand, after noting some negative signs. Due to three major factors
namely political conflict, natural disasters, and bombing incidents in Hat
Yai, the TAT will soon cut back the projected figure for foreign visitors
this year. Its previous expectation was 28.4 million tourists.
TAT Governor Thawatchai Aranyik has assigned his officials to collect more
data and conduct a survey of foreign tourist numbers and travel agency
experience regarding the impact of the three aforementioned factors. He was
confident a new projection could be made public this month.
He however confirmed that the TAT would take measures immediately to tackle
the problem and regain the confidence of foreign tourists in Thailand.
Meanwhile he has noticed that the number of tourists in some markets
fluctuates while others are consistently the same. The TAT governor said the
reasons for the difference need to be studied further. (NNT)
Trucking companies to see increased regulations
Upgrading logistics for entry into AEC
Trucking companies will see
stricter regulations and enforcement to ensure they meet all requirements to
drive in the ASEAN countries in the upcoming AEC.
The Provincial Land Transportation Department is working with the Land
Transport Federation of Thailand and Hazardous Substances Logistics
Association (HASLA) to supervise the transportation of goods by trucks and
ensure that trucks and drivers meet all regulations and requirements so that
they may enter all 10 ASEAN countries upon the implementation of the AEC
Waraporn Worapongsathorn, Head of the Academic Department of Chiang Mai
Provincial Land Transport noted that entrepreneurs and truck drivers often
ignored the laws that regulate the industry as well as traffic laws with
resulting frequent injuries and accidents.
To ensure the safety of drivers and trucks as well as build confidence in
the industry the coalition has listed 10 measures that will enable
Thailand’s trucks and drivers to enter the AEC with confidence.
The ten measures include:
1. Do not drive a truck without the correct license or with a suspended or
2. Drivers will be limited to no more than 4 consecutive hours driving
before being required to take a half an hour rest.
3. Drivers cannot drink or use psychotropic drugs. Violators will be
imprisoned not more than 2 years or fined not more than 40,000 baht or both.
4. Drivers must obey speed limits and drive on the correct side of the road.
5. Drivers must have their records and accident reports on them in the
6. Companies cannot use unregistered non-tax paying drivers or use illegal
7. Trucks will not be allowed to be over the legal weight limit.
8. Trucks carrying hazardous materials must have GPS systems installed.
9. Container trucks must install the Twist Lock system.
10. Trucks must have legal reflectors or flashing lights for use in a
Fines will range between 40,000 – 50,000 baht per violation.
Provincial Land Transport Offices throughout the country and police will
strictly check trucks and trucking companies for violations.