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Green Thailand event takes root Jeremy Colson, Bangkok
ABOUT 100 trade buyers from 24 countries have been invited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to participate in a trade mission to Thailand's first ever ecotourism and adventure tourism show to be held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC) in Bangkok between 30 May - 2 June.

Organised to mark the International Year of Ecotourism declared this year by the World ...


Good morning Vietnam, Germany calling Raini Hamdi, Berlin
VIETNAM is the new darling of South-east Asia for German operators, with at least one of them, GeBeCo, saying it has ousted long-time favourite Thailand as the number one destination.

GeBeCo reports Vietnam has been bringing more business for it than Thailand since last year and is set to retain its number one position this year. Forward bookings for Vietnam as of March 15 already see a ...


A growing connection John Westbrook, Taipei
AIRLINES serving the Taipei-Tokyo route will increase service following April 18th. EVA Airways will register the largest increase with weekly flights jumping from two to 21.

China airlines will add one weekly flight to its current 21 and United Airlines will inaugurate a new daily Taipei-Tokyo-New York service.

Both China Airlines and EVA Airways will offer free shuttle bus servi...


Meridien is doing the double Jeremy Colson, Bangkok
Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts plans to double the number of units in its Asia-Pacific portfolio within three years to give it control of at least 36 properties in the region, a company spokesman said on Wednesday"We have embarked on a very aggressive expansion policy and I will be very surprised if we haven't at least doubled our size during the next 36 months," chief development ...

Driving Ms Singapore Girl Caroline Boey, London
SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) is developing the UK as a self-drive destination and will be launching a new product under its EZ Holidays programme next month.This follows a familiarisation trip this month organised by the British Tourist Authority (BTA), and supported by SIA, when several Europe specialist agents tested the product.

The agents drove from London to Windermere, stopping in Wind...


MDP madness drags on N Nithiyananthan, Kuala Lumpur
THE Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has appointed a seven-person committee headed by its president, Tunku Iskandar, to review the new draft rules for the market development programme (MDP).

The draft was submitted to MATTA last Friday (March 22).MATTA ticketing vice-president, Mr John Tan, said once the committee had discussed the draft, it would engage in a dialo...


IATA slammed as Thai trade question recent defaults TTG Asia, Bangkok
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Thailand is at the centre of a row concerning its effectiveness in collecting payments from ticketing agents.

IATA Thailand, which operates a Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) collection scheme on behalf of some 84 airlines operating in Thailand, stands accused of being slow to spot unusual trading patterns among agents which appear to h...


PATA tough task gets task force Raini Hamdi, Singapore
PATA is appointing a special task force, comprising four to five members from different sectors of the industry, to "re-tool" the PATA Travel Mart.

The mart is the most visible proof of PATA's member service and definitely an income earner for PATA, contributing nearly US$9 million to the association's coffers in the past 25 years. Yet, it has lost ground in the past few years...


FTI guns for bigger share of Asia Raini Hamdi, Berlin
GERMANY'S fourth largest tour operator, FTI, will launch a major marketing campaign in the next few weeks to push its new Asian programme.

The campaign was postponed following 9-11, but will be reinstated soon and carried out throughout summer in order to boost bookings to Asia this coming winter.

"We want to give our Asia programme a good boost for the next winter programme. ...


Malaysia back in Studiosus's books Raini Hamdi, Berlin
STUDIOSUS, one of Germany's leading study tour operators, has reinstated Malaysia in its programme beginning this summer after pulling the destination out in 1997.

Studiosus used to produce good numbers to Malaysia, according to Malaysian sellers, but falling demand as a result of problems such as the haze forced the operator to call a halt in 1997, according to Studiosus area manager, ...


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by Feizal Samath

Perak's budding tourism ambitions

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Finding a balance with alternatives

by Feizal Samath