CHIANGRAI – Chiang Rai’s travel industry, aided by the PATA chapter, has been campaigning for foreign airlines to consider direct services. There have been talks with airlines in Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.
Both Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai need to raise their game plan on linking their tourism assets to important source markets in China, Singapore and Hong Kong where consumers are asking for nonstop services. They need to lobby with both authorities and airlines.
One recommendation is that Bangkok Airways take the lead as the country’s top privately owned airline to introduce a Singapore-Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai route with a stop in Samui. This would allow Singaporeans to combine the beach and mountains, or make convenient shorter trips to both destinations during public holidays without long delays on the ground.
As long as the Thailand’s airline insist on passengers deplaning in Bangkok to board a domestic flights to the North, the market will always lag behind Samui or Phuket. If nonstop flights are not possible from key gateway cities in Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur) then airlines need to offer seamless connections between regional services and domestic flights north. This is not the case and an entire region of Thailand is missing out on the so-called tourism boom that feeds Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and Samui.
PATA Interim Chairman
Mr. Don Ross
Ross Publishing Ltd., Baan Klang Muang, The Paris, Ratchavipha, 55/96 Moo 2, Latyao, Chatuchak, Bangkok, Thailand, 10900
Office: 66 (0)2 158-1157
Fax: 66 2 158-1152
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Chair – PR, Communications & Membership Committee
Mr. Jaffee Yee