Chiang Mai airport to be expanded

A night view of Chiang Mai Airport. Photo Courtesy of the Airports of Thailand

Airports of Thailand plans to invest 11 billion baht to expand Chiang Mai airport. Chiang Mai Airport director Gp Capt Wisut Chanthana said the present facility can handle up to 8 million passengers a year. But last year, the number of passengers reached 9.45 million, up 13% from the year before.

The plan is to increase its capacity to support up to 20 million passengers by 2035. Airport staff will spend about two years conducting an environmental impact assessment. In 2019, work should start on expanding taxiways, parking bays and the runway and building a new passenger terminal and car park.

Chiang Mai airport, Thailand's fourth-busiest, generated more than 2 billion baht of revenue last year, increasing 19.68% from the year before. The number of total flights to and from Chiang Mai airport rose 8.39% to 69,202 last year. Services are provided by eight domestic airlines and 24 international airlines.

Weekend market in Pattaya launches

Pattaya City has joined hands with local partners to launch Talat Kao Na Kluea Walking Street.

The weekend market is located at Na Kluea old market (known in Thai as Talat Kao) in Bang Lamung district. The location has been used for organising a three-month weekend walking street during the past eight years, from November to January, and last year from December to March.

This year, Pattaya City has worked with the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Dasta), which oversees sustainable tourism in Pattaya and its vicinities, and fishermen's group Ao Na Klue to launch the weekend walking street last Saturday. The market is open from 3-9pm and will last until the end of the year.

The highlights are fresh seafood, local meals and street art depicting pictures of King Bhumibol Adulyadej painted by students of Silpakorn University.

Dasta has also launched no-steroid foam food containers to encourage vendors to use only environmentally-friendly materials.

Encouraging high-spending tourists to Pattaya

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched the "Exclusively Luxperience@Pattaya" campaign to attract high-spending tourists.

According to TAT Pattaya Office director Suladda Sarutilavan, the campaign will encourage tourists, especially women, Generation Y and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) visitors to spend more or even stay longer in Pattaya.

The marketing campaign includes special prices for yacht tours operated by Blue Voyage Thailand, weekday hotel packages for hotels in Pattaya and Bang Saen and special offers from Pattaya Dolphin Show, Cartoon Network Amazone Water Park, Pattaya Floating Market, Ramayana Water Park, Thai Thani Arts and Cultural Village Pattaya, Sukhawadee House and Underwater World Pattaya.


Airlines update

China Southern Airlines launched the "Hola! Fly Me to Mexico" programme in Bangkok last week to introduce its first flight from Guangzhou to Mexico City.

The service will be available on April 13 with one stop in Vancouver.

The airline will fly with Airbus 787 aircraft offering 228 seats. It will fly three times a week on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. The service will offer an alternative for passengers to Thailand to bypass a stop in the United States, where a visa is required.


Qantas will launch next generation Premium Economy seat for its long-haul flights.

The new seat will be almost 10% wider than Qantas' existing Premium Economy with an increased recline, according to Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

The airline will have a separate cabin of 28 seats, configured in a two-three-two layout to improve aisle access for passengers sitting in the middle seats.

Each seat will be equipped with high-definition seatback screens, which are 25% larger. There will also be five individual storage compartments, two USB charging points per seat, shared AC power and a personal LED light.

The refurbished Premium Economy seat will be debuted on the airline's fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from October. The Qantas Dreamliner will seat 236 passengers across Business, Premium Economy and Economy.


Hotels update

Marriott will open Renaissance Pattaya Resort & Spa in the Sattahip district of Chon Buri. The resort will be the first Renaissance brand in the province. The hotel will offer 257 rooms, six meeting and function rooms, two swimming pools with a kid's pool and a pool bar, kids' club, spa and restaurants.

The property is owned by The Ninesotel Company. It invested around 3 billion baht for the project. The hotel will be located on Highway 3 in tambon Na Chom Thian and about 30 minutes from Pattaya City. The resort will be open by Sept 1.


Ibis Bangkok Impact Hotel has been opened in Muang Thong Thani.

The 18-storey hotel features 587 rooms including 54 interconnecting rooms and 13 rooms for guests with special needs, a 500-seat restaurant, a 24-hour café and bar, and internet corner.

Other facilities are indoor tennis court, golf, spa, fitness centre and indoor heated swimming pool.

The opening of Ibis Bangkok Impact offers a more affordable alternative for those spending time at Impact Muang Thong Thani. The new hotel complements the 380-room Novotel Bangkok Impact in offering the best accommodation options for visitors to Impact, said Ibis Bangkok Impact Hotel GM Fraser McKenzie.


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