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TRAVEL & TOURISM
 

Haripunchai bathing ceremony in Lamphun

The bathing ceremony for the Haripunchai Pagoda is being held next week, from April 29 to May 5.

The bathing ceremony for Hariphunchai Pagoda (Phraboromathat Hariphunchai) is an ancient ceremony regarded to Lamphun Province and is being held from April 29 to May 5, 2012 at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai Woramahaviharn from 06.00 a.m. till 10.00 p.m. On April 29, the procession of the royal water, that conferred by H.M. the King to bathe for the Hariphunchai Pagoda, will be set along the historical Chiang Mai-Lamphun Rd to Wat Phra That Hariphunchai Woramahaviharn. As well, the procession of bringing the sacred water from Kha Mhor Mountain (Doi Kha Mhor) to Wat Phra That Hariphunchai Woramahaviharn will be held on May 2, 2012. The ceremony will be held throughout the week with many cultural performances, a Giant drum competition, a Victory drum competition, local music competitions and local dance performances to pay homage to the pagoda. For further information please feel free to contact TAT Chiang Mai at Tel. 66 (0) 5324 8604, 66 (0) 5324 8607 every day from 08.30-16.30 Hrs. (TAT)


Chiang Mai Night Safari provides hot weather relief for the animals

The Chiang Mai Night Safari staff have been working overtime to offer the animals a break from the heat, providing a small pond for the tigers to swim in near the Giraffe restaurant. Dr. Sarawuth Srisakun, the CEO of the Chiang Mai Night Safari , said that the very hot weather has prompted him to order construction of further pools for the animals, including the tigers, and white lions. Staff have installed sprinklers and sprayers to provide relief from the heat. Additionally they have been offering the animals ice cold water. He added that they do this every year during the hot weather season.


Chiang Mai's Miracle Tourism Forum announced

By Reinhard Hohler

According to Mr. Sarawut Saetio, President of Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association (CTBA), Chiang Mai in co-oporation with concerned tourism sectors and organizations in Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son  will be organizing the mega initiative of a very welcomed B2B tourism forum to boost up the tourism business to the upper north of Thailand as well as new  tourism products in the region. This event will be organized under the government budget sponsorship.

The Miracle Tourism Forum 2012 is set to convince key entrepreneurs like inbound travel agents, domestic travel agents, editors of travel magazines, editors of online travel magazines and NTOs to know more about destination development and to impact the sales.

The Miracle Tourism Forum 2012 event is scheduled during May 26-29 at the Holiday Inn Chiang Mai, including two-day sight-seeing inspections to Lamphun, Lampang, Chiang Mai and Mae Sariang in Mae Hong Son. All delegates will be assured that the announced Miracle Tourism Forum will be a great success.


Mekong Tourism Forum to Evaluate 20 Years of Cross-Border Cooperation

The Mekong Tourism Forum 2012 will take place in Chiang Rai, Thailand, 13-14 June. The forum will address the theme, "20/20 Vision: Building on Two Decades of GMS Cooperation."

The main focus will be to assess the challenges of human resources, pro-poor sustainable tourism, sub-regional product development and marketing for the next 20 years, in light of achievements in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) over the last 20 years.

Speakers will deliver a candid assessment of what progress has – and has not – been accomplished by Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and donors such as the Asian Development Bank. The grouping united in 1992 to build the Greater Mekong Sub-region as a single tourism destination.

The GMS countries are collectively targeting 52 million international tourist arrivals and US$53 billion in sub-regional tourism revenue by 2015. There were 10 million arrivals in 1995, rising to 35 million in 2011.

"A great deal has been achieved," said Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, Executive Director, Mason Florence. "Multi-country holidays are now common in the GMS, but we still need to reduce red tape, increase cross-border flows and boost sustainable tourism in rural areas where incomes are still too low," he said.

Tourists surveyed in the six countries say that the friendly people are one of the area's most important assets. The forum will assess how the attraction, retention, training and development of the Mekong workforce has progressed and what needs to be done.

Participants will address the recent changes in Myanmar and the impact of ASEAN Economic Cooperation, due in 2015. There will be a session on how private and public sector tourism operators in the GMS can better leverage the shift to electronic distribution, social media, and mobile.

"Anyone with a stake in the future of tourism in the GMS should be at the forum," said Florence.

The Mekong Tourism Forum 2012 will take place in northern Thailand at the Dusit Island Resort Hotel in Chiang Rai, a city which celebrates its 750th anniversary this year.

The registration fee for MTF2012 is US$375, with a special early bird rate of US$275 on offer until 15 May. Members of PATA, SKAL and selected GMS tourism associations may register at the reduced rate of US$245. The conference fee includes full access to the two-day conference, coffee breaks, lunches, dinners and complimentary post-forum tours on 15 June. An accompanying spouse rate of US$150 is being extended to all delegates.

For program information visit www.MekongTourismForum.org. Bookings: mtf2012.eventbrite.com. (PR)


Oasis Spa Unveils Its Newest Day Spa in Bangkok at Sukhumvit 51

Chiang Mai’s hometown spa has opened their latest spot in the big city.

Oasis Spa, a Day Spa leader known for its cutting-edge treatments and massages, is redefining the spa experience, announces the opening of The Oasis Spa Bangkok at Sukhumvit 51.

The vibrant Spa in Bangkok at Sukhumvit 51 is new and different. Those who appreciate style with a more casual approach to life will instantly find this Urban Bohemian chic day spa a refreshing relief and freedom from its stuffy world and formal contents.

The new spa offers all the Signature treatments and effectual massages for which Oasis Spas are famous along with professional pampering; Lanna Style. This laid-back ambiance is a natural venue where anyone can peace out in one of its eleven state-of-the-art private treatment rooms equipped with Jacuzzi hydrotherapy and herbal steam. Recapture the essence of life that has been purposely combined to bring out ones inner beauty and sense of wellbeing.

The public is invited to visit by calling 02-2622122 for reservations and more information or to visit www.oasisspa.net. Also, free transportation from the BTS Phrom Phong station is provided.


AirAsia offers enhanced Fly-Thru service between China & Indonesia

AirAsia continues to revolutionize air travel with more connecting destinations added to its Fly-Thru list. Fly-Thru is AirAsia’s innovative solution to flight connections which offers guests more convenience.

The Fly-Thru service was introduced by AirAsia last year with connecting flight options from selected destinations in the AirAsia route network which spans across 150 routes, 76 destinations and 22 countries.

Due to popular demand for Fly-Thru, AirAsia has decided to extend the service from Indonesian cities such as Jakarta, Bandung, Medan, and Surabaya direct to cities in China such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macau and Hong Kong via AirAsia’s Kuala Lumpur hub (Low Cost Carrier Terminal).

Guests are also able to enjoy the Fly-Thru service from Chennai, India to Singapore with the Fly-Thru connection via Kuala Lumpur as well.

As part of the introduction of new connecting points for Fly-Thru, AirAsia is offering promotional all-in-fares starting from as low as RM379 inclusive of Fly-Thru service. The destinations applicable for this promotion would be from Bandung, Jakarta, Medan and Surabaya to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macau and Hong Kong; and Chennai to Singapore (all via Kuala Lumpur as the connecting point).

This promotion is available exclusively on www.airasia.com and is available for booking from 9 – 29 April 2012 for the travel period from 1 June to 10 August 2012.

Apart from the promotional Fly-Thru fares, AirAsia is also offering all-in-fares from as low as RM59 one way to destinations in Indonesia such as Bali, Jakarta, Medan, Semarang and Surabaya.

The major convenience factor that Fly-Thru offers would be the ease of having their check-in baggage tagged to final destinations, which would mean guests no longer need to pick up their bags and check-in again to their onward destination. This ultimately saves time as guests can skip the immigration clearance process as well.

Guests who opt for the Fly-Thru service will also find a hassle-free experience as their flight bookings will be reflected in one simple flight itinerary and booking number instead of having separate ones for each destination. This would assist AirAsia guests to enjoy a smoother and faster check-in process, especially via Web Check-In. Guests will also be able to save cost on visa applications as the Fly-Thru service exempts our guests from transit visa. (PR)


It's time to lift sanctions against Myanmar

By Reinhard Hohler

According to media sources in Phnom Penh, ASEAN leaders are pushing for the international community to lift sanctions against one of its poorest member nations, Myanmar, as they meet in Phnom Penh.

Myanmar held elections last Sunday were monitored by Asean members and saw gains by the opposition party of Aung San Suu Kyi. Burmese President Thein Sein told reporters in Phnom Penh Tuesday that the elections had been a success.

Now some ASEAN leaders say it is time for the US and other Western nations to lift long-running sanctions.”They believe the lifting of the sanction could contribute positively to the democratic process and economic development," said Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary of State for the Cambodian Foreign Ministry, following the first day of the two-day ASEAN summit. Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa, called sanctions against countries "inhumane" and often do not hurt their intended target. "It's time to lift sanctions," he said.


Thai to offer special prices over Songkran

As part of their Songkran promotion, Thai Airways is not only increasing their domestic flights by 3,000 seats by adding daily flights to Phuket, Chiang Mai and Krabi but is also offering discounted one way fares for travel from the provinces to Bangkok from April 12-15 and from Bangkok to the provinces April 15-18 in a bid to boost inbound Bangkok traffic.

Daily flights will be added to Phuket and Chiang Mai on April 12, 13, 16 and 17 and to Krabi on April 12, 13, and 17.

All-in fares to Bangkok are: Chiang Mai, Bt1,540; Chiang Rai, Bt1,785; Khon Kaen, Bt1,330; Udon Thani, Bt1,380; Ubon Ratchathani, Bt1,450; Krabi, Bt1,705; Phuket, Bt1,820; Surat Thani, Bt1,635 and Hat Yai, Bt1,995. (PR)


Cotton fair 2012 promotes regional textiles

The cotton fair opened on March 30 and runs until Sunday, April 8 at the Industrial Promotion Center on Thung Hotel Road.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The 14th annual Cotton Fair was opened at the Industrial Promotion Center Region 1 headquarters on Thung Hotel Road on March 30, 2012. The event, which features cotton textiles from 8 Northern provinces runs until Sunday, April 8, 2012 and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Dr. Chao Duangduan na Chiang Mai, President of the Chiang Mai Cultural Council was joined by Deputy Governor Workarn Yokying and Prasong Ninbanjong the Director of the Industrial Promotion Center Region 1 I presiding over the opening ceremony.

The Industrial Promotion Center Region 1 is a pioneer in the industrial sector, helping to develop and promote local handicraft products and offer support in the development, production, marketing and financial management to those in the agricultural sector in a bid to reduce unemployment and increase incomes.

A co-sponsor of the event was the Association of Thai Small and Medium Enterprises which helps to market and promote products.


Chiang Mai Zoo offers traditional Songkran

The Chiang Mai Zoo announced that they will offer traditional Songkran ceremonies during April 13-17 at the Zoo to promote the local tradtions and beliefs.

Activities include bathing the Buddha image, traditional Lanna music and performances, and donations to feed the animals as merit making for the New Year. For more information, please contact Public Relations at 053-221179, 053-358116 and visit www.chiangmaizoo.com. (PR)


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]y]

Haripunchai bathing ceremony in Lamphun

Chiang Mai Night Safari provides hot weather relief for the animals

Chiang Mai's Miracle Tourism Forum announced

Mekong Tourism Forum to Evaluate 20 Years of Cross-Border Cooperation

Oasis Spa Unveils Its Newest Day Spa in Bangkok at Sukhumvit 51

AirAsia offers enhanced Fly-Thru service between China & Indonesia

It's time to lift sanctions against Myanmar

Thai to offer special prices over Songkran

Cotton fair 2012 promotes regional textiles

Chiang Mai Zoo offers traditional Songkran