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Update June 23, 2016

Chiang Mai launches green season discounts for tourist attractions

Royal Park Rajapruek has joined with the Chiang Mai Zoo, the Zoo Aquarium and the Night Safari to offer special promotional prices for all four venues.

Nopniwat Krailerg

As part of the annual promotion to attract tourists to Chiang Mai in the green season four tourist attractions are offering a joint discounted ticket of only 999 baht for all four sites.

Held in conjunction with the Tourism Authority of Thailand Chiang Mai the Chiang Mai Zoo, Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium, Chiang Mai Night Safari and Royal Park Rajapruek are offering a joint ticket for all four locations at the special price of 999 baht each person.

The package will also include a trip to the Kruba Srivichai Monument and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep as part of the tour to promote Chiang Mai’s beauty spots and tourist attractions in the green season.

The package will cover a day and a night and include three meals beginning July 1, the special price will expire on October 31, 2016.

The TAT office is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for queries or call 053-276-140 or 1672. The package can be purchased at the Marketing Office of the Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium as well.

Chiang Mai Zoo welcomes another baby Mountain Goat

Mama Mountain Goat Anny and her newborn kid at the Chiang Mai Zoo after the kid was born on June 1, 2016.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Chiang Mai Zoo has welcomed the newest member of the Zoo family, a mountain goat kid born on June 18 at 4:30 a.m. The newborn goat is the 11th mountain goat in the Chiang Mai Zoo and was born to mother Anny, 6 years old, and father Pha Mae, 7 years old, Niporn Vichairat, the Zoo’s Director announced.

The mountain goat is on the CITES list and is an endangered species in Thailand one of fifteen of the country’s endangered species.

Update June 10, 2016

Thailand Travel Mart 2016 Plus opens in Chiang Mai

Fifty-five countries represented

Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, unveiled a plan to turn Thailand into a sporting hub at the opening of the Thailand Travel Mart Plus convention at the International Convention Center on June 8, 2016.

The grand opening ceremony of the Thailand Travel Mart Plus opened with traditional Northern performances.

Sellers from around Thailand had booths at TTM Plus.

In addition to seller booths there were stalls offering hand crafted items such as textiles and silver jewelry from local artisans.

Bangkok Airways has a large booth at the event, promoting their new destinations such as Danang in Vietnam.

Buyers from the U.K. and Ireland were some of the 305 buyers that attended the three day TTM Plus meeting.

Nopniwat Krailerg and Shana Kongmun
The Thailand Travel Mart 2016 Plus or TTM Plus brought tourism related businesses from around the world to Chiang Mai to visit booths from across Thailand and in ASEAN. In total there were more than 850 delegates from 55 countries. This three day travel show is the largest of its kind in Thailand and for the first time was held in Chiang Mai after 14 years in Bangkok.

Chiang Mai and the North and Northeast are set to became a major bridge between Thailand and neighboring countries Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam and Myanmar, who had booths at the event with senior tourism officials taking part in the event as well.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “I am very excited to have the opportunity to personally meet everyone who’s anyone in Thailand’s travel industry scene, especially our overseas partners. This will be my first TTM+ since I assumed the TAT governorship in 2015. In planning this year’s event, we had promised to make it unique, different and distinctive. The unique content indicates that this objective will be achieved.”

Now in its 15th consecutive year, the TTM+ is being held under the theme, “Smile with Us”, which reflects friendship, enjoyment, happiness and hospitality. It is in line with the new logo of “Amazing Thailand”, which represents the most well-known characteristic of Thainess – the Smile.

There were booths by 345 sellers from Thailand and the GMS countries, and 305 buyers from 55 countries, 110 trade visitors, as well as over 100 international and local media. China had the largest contingent of buyers with 43 people, followed by the UK with 27, Australia 21, India 17, Italy 15, South Africa 13 and Russia 11. In addition there were buyers from emerging markets like Lithuania and Ukraine.

Sellers ranged from accommodation, to tour operators, travel agents, entertainment, and transportation with far flung visitors from Phang Nga, Khao Sok and all over the country.

The event was opened by H.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports and H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, former Foreign Minister of Thailand and former ASEAN Secretary General spoke on the topic of “ASEAN Brand…Stronger Together” at the Buyers and Sellers forum.

The major sponsors of the TTM+ 2016 are Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Pelican Hotel Solutions, King Power International, and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau.

In the first four months of the year Thailand’s visitor arrivals hit a record 11.7 million, up over 14 percent from the same period last year. Chinese visitors topped the visitor arrival numbers with 3.44 million arrivals, up over 27 percent from the same period in 2015. East Asia and ASEAN visitors gave Thailand the highest totals at 7.63 million, Europe saw good growth with a nearly 9 percent rise to 2.52 million followed by the Americas with just over half a million, South Asia at just over 459,000 and the Middle East at 226,973 arrivals.

Former Foreign Minister calls for unified ASEAN visa rules, sustainable and equitable tourism

Former ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan spoke on ASEAN, a unified visa system and ease of travel between regional destinations.

Shana Kongmun
Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, formerly the Secretary General of ASEAN and the Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke on the importance of promoting ASEAN as a single brand at the Thailand Travel Mart Plus on Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Dr. Surin urged buyers and sellers to push ASEAN governments to allow for one visa entry for all countries. He noted that next year is the 50th anniversary celebrations of the founding of ASEAN and said he would like to see ASEAN to ASEAN visitation rates rise – currently at 47 percent he said reaching 50 percent was easily doable.

He noted that the total global figure for tourism was around 1.2 billion travelers, of which 400 million visit the Asian region. He said that despite the fact that Europe has a higher number of visitors, people spend more in the Asia Pacific region. “Because we smile to them more” he added with a laugh.

“The challenge we face is the managing the flow of tourists, how to improve services, make them more sustainable. If we are not careful we will have the problems of congestions, an impact on the environment and an effect on culture,” he said. He continued, “The challenge is how to maintain, process and make it equitably accessible, giving opportunities to all people.”

Dr. Surin also reminded the gathered buyers and sellers of their great privilege in being able to choose where they wish to travel and asked everyone to think of those less fortunate, the desperate refugees who are searching for a safe place to live, the displaced who cannot return home. He reminded everyone, “Global sustainability creates equal opportunity for all people, we are talking about 100-200 million people forced to leave their homes, forced to migrate, to look for a safer place.” He urged everyone “Let’s keep them in mind, that we are the people with opportunities and privilege, we need to see how we can also accommodate those people floating in the world. I hope you find ways to think and share at least your thoughts. Perhaps put out envelopes for donations to help these people.”

He discussed Thailand’s unique role as the leading tourism destination in ASEAN, the need to present a united front allowing for ease of travel from regional destinations in each country and added that bringing the TTM Plus out of Bangkok was a good beginning in showing what the rest of the country has to offer.

Finally, he reminded everyone, “We talk about how to make ASEAN better but we also need to think of those who are unfortunate. Your mobility is a pleasure of luxury, think of those on the move but on a perilous journey. Think of the obligation of your privilege, think of those who much less than us. Bring home not just our smiles but think of their tears. Think of their journey which is not the same as ours.”

Update June 9, 2016

Green Season activities include Amazing Thailand Sale, Happy Lanna

Sansern Sitisarn, Deputy Director of TAT, Chiang Mai Office announced the upcoming Green Season events including the Amazing Thailand Sale, Happy Lanna and caravan from Chiang Mai to Lamphun and Lampang to promote reforestation.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Green Season has arrived in the North and the Tourism Authority of Thailand Chiang Mai Office has started promoting tourism activities during the season that runs from June through September.
The Amazing Thailand Grand Sale will take place in not only Chiang Mai but all over the country and feature sales at top shopping centers, stores, and more. The Amazing Thailand Grand Sale is in cooperation with the TAT and Visa International and will be held from June 15 – August 15, 2016 in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Hat Yai, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Udon Thani. Joining departments stores are hotels, restaurants, spas, golf courses and even shops in Ban Tawai to offer discounts and privileges.
In addition on June 22 there will be the annual shopping contest to win round trip tickets from Bangkok Airways to any domestic destinations from Chiang Mai.
Happy Lanna in the Rainy Season is also the newest project promoting tourism in Chiang Mai, Lampang and Lamphun and will feature a handbook of special tourist attractions and activities with discount coupons and privileges. Also, on June 18 a caravan will travel from Chiang Mai to Lamphun and Lampang to promote reforestation and forest conservation activities. A total of 40 vehicles will take part, those interested in joining with their personal vehicles please contact the TAT Chiang Mai office every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 053-248604-5 or

Update June 2, 2016

Night Safari welcomes newborn wild goat kid

The Chiang Mai Night Safari welcomes a newborn male goat kid to the park.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Mai Night Safari’s Director Dr. Sarawuth Srisakun announced the arrival of the latest baby animal to the Safari, a newborn wild goat kid born to three year old father Tong Hok and one and a half year old mother Parichart. The goat kid is in excellent health and is being well-cared for by his mother.

The Night Safari ha a total of eight wild goats; five males and three females.

The Wild Goat, unlike the domestic goat, has no bear and is mostly black. There is white hair on the chest and it has long ears like a donkey. Both male and female wild goats have horns from about 4 – 8 inches long. The horns curl in a circle and bend in the back a little. The wild goat has very strong feet with short hooves suitable for jumping along cliffs.

Wild goats live around forests in highlands with overhanging rocks for hiding or in caves unreachable by humans. It is shy and can become fierce cornered or injured. It sleeps during the day and feeds early morning and evening. The wild goat can go for a long time without water and eats soft grasses, bark and branches.

Its mating season is around October to November and pregnancy period is about 7-8 months long. The wild goat has only one kid at a time and by the time the kid reaches three days old it is already walking and following its mother. The wild goat can be found in Punjab and Kashmir in the southern Himalayas and through Assam in India, the south of China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan in the mountainous areas.

Siripanna Villa Resort receives TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016

Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa received the Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor for the second year running.

Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa, Chiang Mai, a unique resort in town reflecting the essence of Lanna aesthetics as well as preserving Thai arts and culture surrounded by tropical gardens with over 20,000 trees, has received the prestigious Certificate of Excellence 2016 from TripAdvisor.

As the world’s leading travel website, TripAdvisor recently issued its Certificate of Excellence 2016 to properties which consistently achieve outstanding reviews and opinions from travellers around the world on TripAdvisor.

“The team at Siripanna is sincerely honoured to receive this recognition. We are committed to fulfil our clients' desires for happiness and deliver exceptional service infused with the charms of Lanna culture through our luxurious rooms, natural spa, restaurants and catering service, so that they can experience only the best while in Chiang Mai. Meanwhile, the resort has launched a newly redesigned website in more than five languages, which will feature regularly updated promotions and activities as well as special offers. In addition, we are fully active on all social media channels so that our customers can follow and communicate with us closely,” said Mr. Supamit Kitjapipat, the owner and Managing Director of Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa, Chiang Mai.

Prior to receiving this award, Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa, Chiang Mai received the same Certificate of Excellence in 2015 and was selected as one of the Top 25 Hotels in Thailand in ‘TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice 2014 Award.’ Impressively, the resort also received the Prime Minister’s Silver Award as the top luxury city hotel for Green, Nature & Environment from the Thailand Boutique Awards in 2011.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Chiang Mai launches green season discounts for tourist attractions

Chiang Mai Zoo welcomes another baby Mountain Goat

Thailand Travel Mart 2016 Plus opens in Chiang Mai

Former Foreign Minister calls for unified ASEAN visa rules, sustainable and equitable tourism

Green Season activities include Amazing Thailand Sale, Happy Lanna

Night Safari welcomes newborn wild goat kid

Siripanna Villa Resort receives TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016