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TRAVEL & TOURISM
 

New pocket guidebook and calendar launched

Chiang Mai Governor and the Director of the Office of Tourism and Sports introduce the new guidebook and calendar of events.

By Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul launched the new guidebook and calendar for the North including Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son at Chiang Mai Gate Hotel on March 29, 2012 together with the Director of the Office of Tourism and Sports for the four provinces.

The guidebook contains guides to the Royal Project, Buddhist monuments, local handicrafts, hilltribe life, and agro-tourism of each province. 10,000 copies are being printed in both Thai and English to provide information for tourists, further booklets are being planned in Chinese and Korean. Copies will be available at airports, bus terminals, tourist attractions and City Hall.


Chiang Mai Night Safari introduces Songkran celebrations

Chiang Mai Night Safari CEO Dr. Sarawut Srisakul joined in water splashing with elephants which will be one of many activities for Songkran.

The Chiang Mai Night Safari invited everyone to join them for Songkran Festival where they will be offering traditional cultural performances, local Northern food, and play Songkran with the elephants. President of the Chiang Mai Culture Council Dr. Chao Duangduen na Chiang Mai will join the traditional ceremony of pouring water over the hands of revered elders on April 13, 2012.

Dr. Sarawut Srisakul, CEO of the Chiang Mai Night Safari said the Chiang Mai Night Safari will work to build and maintain the traditions of Songkran and to promote awareness of the cultural traditions of Songkran.

Those born between April 13 and 15 will be offered a discount as well as a discount for those dressed in traditional Northern dress. Those born in April will be offered a 50 baht discount for the month of April.

“Since February the Night Safari has seen revenues increase from the same time last year, reaching 43 million Baht, we estimate we will reach 81 million Baht by year end,” Dr. Sarawut added.


Malaysian Airlines and Bangkok Air to codeshare

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Bangkok Airways began a code-sharing agreement on some domestic flights and international routes between Thailand and Malaysia on March 25, 2012.
It will allow Malaysia’s national carrier to set its code on Bangkok Airways flights from Bangkok to Samui, Phuket, and Chiang Mai as well as the Koh Samui-Phuket and Koh Samui- Kuala Lumpur flights.

Bangkok Airways Samui-Kuala Lumpur service allows people to fly directly from Samui to Malaysia from the KL International Airport. It also offers easier access to Chiang Mai from Malaysia.


Angkor Wat in India?

Reinhard Hohler

According to media news from New Delhi, a foundation-laying ceremony has been held in Patna, Bihar earlier this month for the creation of what is said to be the tallest Hindu temple anywhere in the world – which is nothing unusual in India. But what became a matter of diplomatic confrontation between India and Cambodia is the same proposed Hindu temple in the banks of Ganges River as it's the replica of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, the country's most popular tourist attraction and national symbol.

Mahavir Mandir Trust, a privately run India-based religious organization, is behind this 100 crore project and 'bhoomi pujan' (land purification) has been held at the site near Hajipur.

The massive replica of the 12th century Cambodian temple will be called 'Virat Angkor Wat Ram Mandir' and will be build in a sprawling 40-acer site on the Hajipur-Bidupur road near Ismailpur village.

The Cambodian government called the move to make a higher replica of its national symbol a "shameful act" and warned that this could affect the future relationships with India. "There is only one Angkor Wat in the world, it is Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple, which was listed as one of the world heritage sites in 1992," Cambodia's Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, Him Chhem, told reporters in Phnom Penh.

So will there be another Angkor Wat in India?


Nok Air increases flights to Nan

Beginning April 11 Nok Air will increase its twice daily flights to Nan to three times a day. Nok Air will depart from Don Meuang daily at 7:30 a.m., 3:40 p.m. and the new flight will depart at 7: 15 p.m. Return flights from Nan to Bangkok will depart at 9:30 a.m., 5: 40 p.m. and the new departure at 7:35 p.m. Nok Air is the only airline serving Nan, Solar Air stopped flights when Don Meuang flooded but have not yet resumed flights. Solar Air says it will resume flights in April.


AirAsia starts direct flight Chiang Mai-Macau on May 22

Reinhard Hohler

AirAsia strengthens its Chiang Mai flight base by becoming the first airline to offer a daily direct flight between Chiang Mai and Macau. New Airbus A320s will connect Chiang Mai to Macau, one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, to penetrate the steadily rising Chinese market and enhance the Thai economy. The inaugural flight will be ready to take off on May 22, 2012.

AirAsia initiated its Chiang Mai Hub at the beginning of 2011 and has since then continually added more flight routes. Presently, the Chiang Mai Hub operates 8 daily flights to Bangkok, 2 flights to Phuket, 1 flight to Hat Yai, and 3 weekly flights to Ubon Ratchathani.

During a highly promoted press conference at the Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa Chiang Mai on March 22, Mr. Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, remarked that AirAsia’s Chiang Mai Hub has grown steadily with the support of passengers. The airline’s intent is to expand its network of destinations to be the most inclusive and convenient. This year, AirAsia plans to increase connections to the Chinese market, being the world’s largest market with an appreciation of cost-effective travel, matching with the trust of the airline. AirAsia is confident it will draw more travelers to Thailand to stimulate its economy.

Mr. Tassapon added that the launching of the Chiang Mai-Macau route underlines AirAsia’s determination to attract customers in the Chinese market, the most populated and rapidly growing market in the world. China provides a key opportunity to draw travelers to Thailand, whether individually or in group tours. By utilizing the Chiang Mai Hub instead of Bangkok, new travelers and the generated revenue will be better dispersed throughout the nation.

AirAsia today is proud to be a truly ASEAN airline with established operations based in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, servicing a network stretching across all 10 ASEAN countries, China, India, Sri Lanka and Australia.

So far, AirAsia has carried over 140 million guests and grown its fleet to approximately 106 airplanes. For more information, please go to: www.airasia.com.


Chiang Mai Spa S to International market.

The upcoming seminar on the future trends of the Lanna Spas in international areans was announced at the Yang Kham Village on March 21, 2012.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Panjit Pitsawong Chief of the Department of Commerce in Chiang Mai held a  press conference on the "Trends and prospects of the Thai Spa in world markets" and the “Lanna Spa Ketapirom” on March 21, 2012 at the Yang Kham Village on Sridonchai Road. The identity of the Lanna Spa, a project of the Chiang Mai Public Health Office and Thai Lanna Spa Association has been prepared to enhance and strengthen the spa industry to compete internationally. Both public and private sectors work in research in image, taste, smell, sound and touch as part of the unique innovations in the Lanna Exotic massage style.

The Chiang Mai Public Health Office is working to make this part of the regional medical hub based in Chiang Mai. The Department of Commerce is providing support for innovative ideas in therapy included music therapy using Lanna instruments which can be played in the spa.

Members of the service and private sector were invited to join in the seminar, to determine the direction the spa market should take in the current economic climate. The seminar on Trends and Prospects of the Thai Spa Association to market to the world will take place at the Botanic Resort Hotel on March 31 and April 1, 2012.

Music in the Park will be held on March 31, 2012 from 6.30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens in Mae Rim district with music by Supoj Sukklat and Thai flute music from Tanit Seeklindee.

There will be folk music from the famous local music teachers, elephants from the Mae Sa Elephant Camp in "Kotcssri Sangkeeth" and M.L Panadda Diskul Governor of Chiang Mai and Dr. Chao Duangduen Na Chiang Mai President of Chiang Mai Cultural Council will preside over the opening ceremony.


Dragonair launches direct flight to Hong Kong

Dragonair announced three more destinations will be added to its regional network, with new services to Jeju in South Korea and Chiang Mai in Thailand together with the resumption of scheduled services to Taichung. The strengthening of the airline's network will offer more options for people travelling from Hong Kong and Mainland China within the Asia Pacific region.

Chiang Mai will be a seasonal scheduled service with four flights a week operating from 1 July to the end of September and will be operated by Airbus A320 aircraft.

Dragonair is the only airline operating direct non-stop services between Hong Kong and Chiang Mai.

The flight departs Hong Kong for Chiang Mai on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday in July at 3:05 p.m. and arrives at 5:10 p.m. and Sunday and Thursday at 2 p.m. and arrives at 4 p.m. August to September. The flight will depart Chiang Mai for Hong Kong on Wednesday and Sunday at 6:20 p.m. and arrive at 10:20 p.m. in July and Thursday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and arrive at 10:30 p.m. from August to September. www.dragonair.com.


Chiang Rai Le Meridien GM wins Face of the Future award

Mr. Justin Malcolm is the recipient of the most prestigious honor for young tourism professionals in Asia Pacific - the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Face of the Future 2012 award.

Mr Malcolm is General Manager of Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort, and Chairman of the PATA Chiang Rai Chapter, Thailand.

Mr. Malcolm is set to receive the honor at an official awards ceremony taking place during the opening ceremony of PATA Annual Conference on April 21, 2012 at the Royale Chulan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Courtesy of IMEX (the worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events), Mr. Malcolm will be offered complimentary registration and subsidized travel to attend IMEX 2012 in Frankfurt, Germany, May 22-24. (PR)


Chiang Mai Fest brings street art, musicians

Earth Wind & Fire and the Tourism Authority of Thailand are joining hands to reintroduce Chiang Mai Fest to the cultural surroundings of Three Kings Monument from March 23 to April 7, 2012.

Yut Wanichanond, Consultant of Earth Wind & Fire, said following a much-hyped inaugural year in 2011 as a three-day event, the Chiang Mai Fest would return this year with 16 days of packed programs.

“The Chiang Mai Fest 2012 will be even bigger, starting with the First International Street Painting Festival in Thailand,” he said.

The inaugural Street Painting Festival will bring in world-famous chalk painters such as Melanie Van Latum and Lysa Ashley from the USA and Tony Cuboliquido from Italy to turn streets, pavements and temporary walls at the Three Kings Monument into an outdoor art exhibition and workshop from March 23 to April 7.  The “Art on Street” exhibition will start with a curtain raiser at the Old District Court on Friday, March 23 from 17.00 to 18.00 hrs.

The Chiang Mai Fest 2012 will also reintroduce the city’s first and only International Music Festival from April 6 to 7.  In its second year, the two-day event will feature world-class performances by international artists such as German contemporary singer Thomas Kiessling, South African opera - classic pop crossover male vocal group Il Quinto, American Blues and Soul revivalist band Blues Brothers and Thai musical maestro Neung Jakkawal.

Yut said last year, the three-day Chiang Mai Fest attracted nearly 10,000 visitors and generated 150,000,000 baht revenue to Chiang Mai, as well as boosted  tourist’s length of stay in the city from 2 to 15 day during the Songkran Festival.

“This year, we expect the 16-day Chiang Mai Fest to attract over 35,000 local and international visitors and help to generate some 200-300 million baht in tourism-related revenue,” he added.

Mr. Wiwatchai Boonyapak, Events Department Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said the Chiang Mai Fest 2012 would attract tourists more to Chiang Mai between late-March and early-April in addition to the expected high turnouts during the Songkran Festival.

“The Chiang Mai Fest 2012 will boost tourism revenue and raise the image of Chiang Mai as the centre of international, music, art and culture,” Mr. Wiwatchai said. For more information, Please contact 053 292 224, E-mail: [email protected]. www.chiangmaifest.com (PR)


Nok Air introduces midnight sale for Chiang Mai flights

Nok Air will kick off a Bt1,000 one-way promotion tomorrow for the members. It will be available for general customers from 19 March. Eligible for all destinations, the booking period will end 27 March, while the fares are good for travel between 1 May and 30 September.

Nok Air also launched a midnight sales promotion for travel on routes from Bangkok and Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai as well as its secondary route Chiang Mai- Mae Hong Son.

The fare is Bt1,199 per sector, all-in and are available for bookings online from 2300 to 0800 until 20 March. The travel period is from 17 March to 30 April (three days advance bookings). Visit www.nokfanclub.com and www.nokair.com. (PR)


Chiang Mai International Airport celebrates 24th anniversary

Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul is joined by Chiang Mai International Airport officials to celebrate the airports’s 24th year of operations and its ranking in the top 5 World’s Best Airports serving 2.5 million people or less.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai Governor M.L .Panadda Diskul was joined by Wing Commander Prateep Wichitto, Senior Executive Vice President, Regional Airports and Rawewan Netrakavesna, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Chiang Mai International Airport, Airports of Thailand, Public  Company Limited (AOT) to announce the 24th anniversary of the implementation of the Chiang Mai International Airport. The Airport celebrated the milestone with the success of being ranked in the top 5 World’s Best small airports serving 2-5 million passengers or less in a survey by the Airport Council International (ACI) under the Airport Service Quality Program (ASQ)

Fiscal year 2011 revenues for the Chiang Mai airport totaled over 618 million baht, up 23 percent compared to 2010 while net profits were 121million baht, up 74 percent. There were more than 32,000 flights in 2011 up 11 percent from 2010 while the number of passengers reached 3.8 million, up 22 percent from the previous year while the airport handled 17,617 tons of cargo. Chiang Mai International Airport has an average of 110 flights a day from 12 airlines.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]y]

New pocket guidebook and calendar launched

Chiang Mai Night Safari introduces Songkran celebrations

Malaysian Airlines and Bangkok Air to codeshare

Angkor Wat in India?

Nok Air increases flights to Nan

AirAsia starts direct flight Chiang Mai-Macau on May 22

Chiang Mai Spa S to International market.

Dragonair launches direct flight to Hong Kong

Chiang Rai Le Meridien GM wins Face of the Future award

Chiang Mai Fest brings street art, musicians

Nok Air introduces midnight sale for Chiang Mai flights

Chiang Mai International Airport celebrates 24th anniversary