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Bangkok Air partners with the Chedi Chiang Mai

Bangkok Airways has partnered with the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui and The Chedi Chiang Mai to launch “Exclusive Chef in the Sky by Bangkok Airways 2012”.

M.L.Nandhika Varavarn, Vice President - Corporate Communications of Bangkok Airways said, “We launched our first campaign “Exclusive Chef in the Sky by Bangkok Airways” in 2011 because we wanted to emphasize our boutique service angle as a full service airline. As we received good feedback, we decided to continue this campaign for the second year. The two world-class chefs from Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui and The Chedi, Chiang Mai have created special menus to be served on our Blue Ribbon Class (Business Class) for 6 months from July – December 2012. The honorary committee from Bangkok Airways, Bangkok Air Catering and Thailand’s famous food critique, Mr. Santi Svetavimala, selected the best 12 dishes (6 from each hotel) to be served to our passengers.”

The 12 dishes will be served to Blue Ribbon class passengers on Bangkok-Samui, Bangkok-Phnom Penh, Bangkok-Maldives, Bangkok-Dhaka, Bangkok-Bengaluru, Samui-Singapore and Samui-Hong Kong routes.

 The menu from Four Seasons Samui will be served from July to September while the menu from The Chedi will be served from October to December this year. (PR)

Mae Sariang becomes a hot cake in Thailand’s North

By Reinhard Hohler

Some 100 travel professionals gathered at the Holiday Inn Chiang Mai to attend the successful Miracle Tourism Forum on May 26-29, 2012. Under the theme “The Innovative Marketing for the Upper Northern Provincial Cluster 1” activities were introduced to develop new channels for businesses, so that Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son can become more competitive in the tourism markets worldwide.

It was up to M.L. Panadda Diskul, Governor of Chiang Mai, to highlight Chiang Mai as “Most Splendid City of Culture” being 716 years old and being a city of life and prosperity. Most of all Chiang Mai is famous for its culture, cuisine, nature, hospitality, value for money and handicrafts, but also it is a medical hub and a centre for spa and wellness.

In the afternoon of the first day the Tourism Council of Thailand honored some most valuable persons on tourism development, such as Mr. Sansern Ngaorungsi, Vice Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Mr. Vorapong Muchaotai, Secretary General of Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association (CTBA) amongst others.

Best and outstanding Lan Na hotel awards were given to Four Seasons Chiang Mai Resort, Ratilanna River Spa Resort as well as Khum Phaya Resort and Spa, while North Thailand photo tourism awards were given to 24 photographers from Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son, each worth 10,000Baht.

On the second day of the forum, Mr. Chalermsak Saranant, Director of TAT Chiang Mai Office, released detailed information relating to an annual event calendar, including an innovative Golf Festival in May-June, while the most interesting session by the President of the Chiang Mai Tour Guide Association, Khun Somrit, was given on new combining tour destinations in a 7day/6 night itinerary. Also, two-hour business matching and table top sales were held by 60 sellers, such as 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai Orchid, Furama Chiang Mai, Suriwong Moevenpick, and Shangri-La Hotel Chiang Mai amongst others.   

On the social front, there were two theme parties, one at Siripanna Villa Resort and Spa showcasing Lan Na Miracle Night to welcome the delegates on May 26, while the farewell Underwater World Dinner on the Mountain at Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium was organized by Chiang Mai Provincial Office of Tourism and Sports on May 27.

The last two days of the Miracle Tourism Forum could be used to join one of the four offered tour and inspection showcases to Lamphun, Lampang, Kalyaniwattana (Chiang Mai) and Mae Sariang (Mae Hong Son). All the tours were limited to 25 persons, but it was the tour to Mae Sariang, which was booked out very quickly and it seems that Mae Sariang becomes a hot cake in Thailand’s North.

The tour to Mae Sariang started at 7.30 in the morning at Holiday Inn Chiang Mai within a caravan of four minibuses. We followed the local road to Doi Inthanon and continued to Mae Chaem District in Chiang Mai Province, where we stopped at a 7/11 Shop for refreshments. Later we took a short break at “Hot Coffee” in Tambon Mae Na Chorn, a small place for bed and breakfast. We continued the new road to Khun Yuam District in Mae Hong Son Province that we reached at 14.00 to have lunch at the Ban Farang Guesthouse. After lunch we visited the new Thai-Japanese War Memorial Hall to get first-hand information about the Tai Yai and hill tribe culture as well as the quest of the Japanese into Burma during the Second World War.

At Mae La Noi District of Mae Hong Son we took another coffee break at the local Hern Tai Resort and continued to Mae Sariang, where we stayed for overnight at the elegant Riverhouse Resort, which offers 44 wood-decorated guest rooms. At 19.00 we went for a cultural dance performance within the centrally-located Chong Soong Temple and got a religious audience by the abbot of the temple, where amulets were given for protection. Later that night, we went to a local restaurant to enjoy a “khantoke” performance organized by the jovial “nai amphoe” of Mae Sariang.

The highlight of the tour followed next morning, when we changed into trekking tour cars to reach the mighty Salawin River, which can be reached by a long and winding road lasting for more than an hour. Arriving at Mae Sam Laep, a romantic Karen refugee village along the river, we took long passenger boats to explore the river down to Sob Moei. The Salwin River is deep and dangerous and marks only on a short stretch the international border between Thailand and Myanmar. Back in Mae Sam Laep, we drove up the mountain to the local Shan Pagoda and had a dramatic view of the river northwards along the Salawin National Park.

At 10.30 we had to return to Mae Sariang, where we had a delicious Shan lunch at the local Inthira Restaurant. After a last look into the newly built Shan Museum, we continued the road to Hod and stopped for an inspection of the Ob Luang Gorge, which is an important place to study the prehistory of Northern Thailand. As most of the tour participants had to take the flight back to Bangkok in the evening, we rushed back via Chom Thong, San Pa Tong and Hang Dong to reach Chiang Mai International Airport at 18.00. Most of the tour participants were sure that Mae Sariang is a good place for eco-adventure tourism and will see a bright potential for more tourists to go there in the future.

For more information, please go to the newly established web-site:

Delegates of World Economic Forum 2012 to Discuss the Future of Thai Tourism

Thailand hosted World Economic Forum on East Asia 2012 in Bangkok from May 30 to June 1, 2012, and more than 80 delegates were invited to a networking dinner hosted by the Minister of Tourism and Sports with collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Under the theme “A Night by the Riverside” at Asiatique the Riverfront, Thailand’s newest mega shopping complex, the networking dinner featured sumptuous Thai and international cuisine, as well as charming Thai traditional dance performances including the Lantern Dance and a Northeastern traditional dance.

Earlier in the day, the Travel, Trade & Tourism Summit at World Economic Forum on East Asia 2012, under the topic of “Open Borders: Revitalizing Asia’s Growth through Travel, Trade and Tourism,” opened with remarks by John Moavenzadeh, Senior Director, Head of Mobility Industries, World Economic Forum USA. During several breakout sessions, key leaders in the travel industry discussed collaboration and strategies for the region’s tourism sector. Ideas on policies facilitating travel, sustainable transport, meeting consumer demands and brand strategy were also exchanged among influential decision makers. The sessions ended with the closing remarks by Mr Chumpol Silapa-Archa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand, followed by the “A Night by the Riverside” event.

“The Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Tourism Authority of Thailand is delighted to support this event for key players from the tourism industry in the East Asia region to meet and discuss how the countries in the region can formwin-win alliances to be more competitive in the future. It’s also a great opportunity for Thailand to showcase our readiness as a travel hub for the region, building upon our track record as one of the world’s most preferred tourist destinations,” said Mr Chumpol Silapa-Archa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism and Sports.

Thailand’s strategic location and excellent tourist infrastructure make it a natural hub for travel throughout the countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), which are southern China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Lao and Cambodia. Tourism has been a very important component of the development program for GMS over the last 20 years. The growth that exists today is almost entirely the result of specific policy measures implemented in regional and sub-regional agreements. With the ASEAN Economic Community coming into effect in 2015, the TAT plans to further support improvements of the standards and quality of local tourism operators.

“To remain competitive when the AEC comes into effect, Thai operators must be able to deliver the best possible products and experiences to visitors. This can be accomplished through knowledge and training programs, combined with all the strengths that Thailand offers as a tourism destination. Networking events such as this lead to relationships that can help to strengthen Thai tourism and the sector’s international links,” said Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. (TAT)

United partners with ANA

United Airlines' new partnership with ANA, means that travelers in Thailand and neighboring countries now have an enhanced service from Southeast Asia via Tokyo to over 220 destinations in the United States.

United executives point out that the new joint venture effectively delivers two networks as one. The partnership means that passengers in Thailand and neighboring countries have price parity and inter-changeability on route segments. For example, passengers can fly to the US on ANA and return on United.

The ANA partnership follows on from United's successful merger of equals with Continental in 2010, making it the world's leading airline.

James Mueller, Vice President – Atlantic and Pacific Sales at United told journalists at a media briefing in May in Bangkok that this was "only the beginning for the new United."

"With more linkages to Asia with ANA, United is seeing growth in international markets, especially Southeast Asia," he said.

The new optimism at United comes from a US$550 million product development plan that is transforming the airline.

United is taking delivery of 24 aircraft this year, including five B787 Dreamliners, known for their fuel efficiency, low noise, bigger windows and advanced in-flight comfort levels.

Over half a billion dollars is being spent on hundreds of new flatbed seats in business class, new Economy Plus seats, and audio visual on demand. Onboard satellite Wi-Fi connectivity will be installed throughout United's network starting from second half of 2012.

"We're very optimistic about the new United's service offering between Asia and the States," said Dave Hilfman, Senior Vice President for Worldwide Sales at United. "The new B787 Dreamliners not only enhance the quality of the passenger experience, they also allow United to add more frequencies because the plane is such an efficient mid-range, mid-capacity network performer," he said.

United flies daily between Bangkok and Tokyo Narita. From its Narita hub passengers can fly nonstop to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Washington DC, Houston New York and Honolulu. United serves 228 airports in the U.S.

Joe Mannix, United Airlines General Manager for Thailand and Vietnam, said United had been serving Thailand since 1986. "We are fully committed to Thailand and its neighboring countries," he said. "Following our successful merger with Continental and our new joint venture with ANA, I believe the 'new United' is unbeatable for both business travelers and tourists in Thailand visiting the United States." (PR)

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]y]

Bangkok Air partners with the Chedi Chiang Mai

Mae Sariang becomes a hot cake in Thailand’s North

Delegates of World Economic Forum 2012 to Discuss the Future of Thai Tourism

United partners with ANA