Football fans cheer with Emirates onboard, online, and on-the-ground
Soccer fanatics travelling for business or vacation are
being kept up to date on their team’s progress at the 2006 FIFA World Cup -
onboard, online and on the ground - courtesy of Emirates Airline, an
Official Partner of the tournament.
of the Italian national team gather to watch the Azzuri in action at the
popular Emirates viewing ‘cube’ in Milan’s Malpensa Airport.
Onboard, travellers flying with Emirates can enjoy exclusive screenings of
the most recent matches, plus live text updates of current matches being
played. It’s a service proving to be extremely popular with passengers, with
some flights showing more than 80 per cent of passengers tuning in to the
In addition to broadcasting all FIFA World Cup matches across its entire
fleet, Emirates is also providing football lovers with the chance to follow
every kick of the 64-game tournament online, thanks to its Matchcast
sponsorship on FIFAworldcup.com, hosted by Yahoo!
Available in nine languages, FIFAworldcup.com provides fans with the most
comprehensive coverage of the 18th edition of the FIFA World Cup and is
already attracting an average of five million fans every day. And it’s the
Emirates-sponsored Matchcast that provides the best live match coverage on
Detailed, direct and dedicated to the facts of each game, the Emirates
Matchcast features play-by-play commentaries, the official FIFA Data Feed,
users Fanchat, photographs of the action published in real time, trivia and
On the ground, the airline has installed special viewing stations equipped
with plasma TVs and projection screens at 16 international airports, showing
live matches, as well as highlights from earlier games, information
regarding forthcoming matches, team standings and the latest FIFA news.
Mike Simon, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President Corporate
Communications, said: “Since the first match kicked off on 9th June, we have
been receiving phenomenal and very positive feedback from our customers. At
some live match screenings, our airport viewing stations have attracted
enormous crowds of cheering fans of all ages and nationalities, all keen to
catch some football action before their flights. You can really feel their
passion and excitement.”
The popular Emirates ‘cubes’ at the airports have been attracting a plethora
of passengers, many wearing their national team jersey and waving flags and
other items during the live broadcast from the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Emirates’ FIFA World Cup viewing stations can be found in airports at New
York JFK, Zurich, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Nagoya, Kansai, Shanghai,
Narita, Brisbane, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sydney, Milan, Rome and
Amazing Thailand campaign may be revived in 2007
The ‘Amazing Thailand’ tourism promotional campaign
might be brought back to life next year, according to a local newspaper
Krungthep Turakij quoted Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) director of
policy and planning department, Mr Auggaphol Brickshawana, on Thursday
(June 29) from TAT’s annual marketing focus group meeting: “The TAT has
formed a working group to study the 2007 tourism branding to re-launch
the Amazing Thailand campaign in our next year’s marketing strategy.”
TAT’s deputy governor for tourism products, Mr Santichai Euachongprasit,
was also quoted saying that Thailand was in need of a stronger tourism
branding due to intense competition from other countries’ brand
consistency, such as Spain’s ‘Espana’, New Zealand’s ‘100% Pure New
Zealand’, Malaysia’s ‘Truly Asia’ and India’s ‘Incredible India’.
At the same meeting, the private sector urged the TAT to create
awareness on Thailand under just one tourism branding, ‘Amazing
Thailand’, instead of introducing new brands such as Unseen Thailand,
Exotic Thailand and Happiness On Earth, which created confusion among
the international market.
The TAT will announce its 2007 marketing strategy after this year’s
annual general marketing meeting, to be held from August 15 to 19 in
Thai Air Asia to launch
daily Yangon service
THAI Air Asia will launch one daily flight from Bangkok to Yangon, Myanmar,
from August. Thai Air Asia CEO, Tassapon Bijileveld, told TTG Daily News the
flight was part of the airline’s route expansion, planned between June and
Also from the same month, the airline will be increasing its four times
daily services from Bangkok to Phuket to five times daily. Its three flights
daily from Bangkok to Chiang Mai will be increased to six flights daily.
Meanwhile, the airline launched the first Thai Air Asia Travel Fair, held in
Bangkok from June 23 to 25. Mr Tassapon said he hoped to sell up to 30,000
air tickets during the event. From the total, around 3,000 air tickets were
expected to be sold at 9 baht (US$0.23), while the rest at 199 baht and 399
Tassapon said the fair would help fill the airline’s 60,000 empty seats on
all routes between July and October. He added he planned to make the travel
fair, which also featured hotels, tour companies and National Tourism
Organisations from China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Macao and Thailand, an annual
Tourism in Thailand flourishes as king’s anniversary negates FIFA World Cup
Thailand’s recent royal celebrations and more festivities
planned to honour the monarch throughout the rest of the year have emerged
as a reprieve for the country’s tourism industry. Prior to this month’s
celebrations, the industry had expressed unconstructive concerns due to the
FIFA World Cup in Germany.
It was projected that the number of European tourists visiting Thailand was
expected to decline about 22 percent during this year’s World Cup and the
Southeast Asian country would lose US$60 million in tourism revenue,
according to a report by the KASIKORN Research Center (KRC).
However, Thailand’s royal celebrations brought enough tourists to the
kingdom to make up for the season’s usual drop-off in arrivals and even the
negative impact of the World Cup. And with more festivities planned to
honour the monarch throughout the rest of the year, the Thai government has
raised its target for arrivals to 14.5 million, up from the previous
projection of 13.8 million.
Recently, Thailand commemorated King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 60th year of
accession to the throne with a grand five-day celebration graciously
attended by dignitaries, including kings and queens, from 25 countries,
spending about US$13 million in five days to honor the world’s
The country’s airports, hotels, museums, shopping centers, office buildings
and art galleries are alive with pictorial tributes to the king of Thailand.
Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Juthamas Siriwan said, “The Royal
Celebrations presented a perfect opportunity to showcase Thailand at its
best. We have certainly set new standards of global hospitality, and we hope
our entire tourism industry will continue to maintain them in the years
Revising the drop in projections due to the FIFA World Cup, the Association
of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) president Apichart Sankary said, “Over 8,000
arrivals a day is a good figure for the low season. During the World Cup
four years ago, very few people came to Thailand.” (eTN Asia)
jets promoted to agents
Lufthansa organized a seminar June 14 at the Amari Hotel and Resort to brief
travel agents on the airline’s new private jet promotion.
Sirisopana, Key Account Manager, Lufthansa talks to Pattaya travel agents
about the new service.
Chompunud Sirisopana, key accounts manager at Lufthansa said the airline had
last year introduced its private jet service in Europe, in which small jets
of six and eight seat capacity operated out of the Frankfurt and Munich
hubs. The aircraft are particularly useful for businessmen who are traveling
on a tight schedule or who wish to visit smaller airports, as the private
jets can access about one thousand smaller airfields in Europe and
The planes are available to first and business class passengers and are
hired at a scale rate with only a small surcharge for extra passengers. The
private jet service has also found favour amongst families who travel
together, and with honeymoon couples.
A fresh look for Krabi airport
The recently launched new terminal at Krabi International
Airport has caused much cheer in the southern province.
Built at a cost of 327 million baht (US$8.7 million), the 15,943sqm terminal
can handle 1,400 passengers an hour, compared to 600 passengers an hour at
the old terminal.
The runway has also been lengthened - from 2,100m to 3,000m - and can now
handle Boeing 747s. The apron has been widened and a further extension will
allow the airport to handle three B747s, one B737, one ATR and two
helicopters at once.
The airport’s director, Mr. Phaisan Jinachan, said: “The extension will
increase arrivals, especially those on direct charter flights from
Scandinavia. I’m expecting to receive requests for more international
flights once the airport’s new capacity has been officially announced.”
Thai Airways International (THAI) airport service manager, Mr. Peer na
Talang, said European airlines applying to land at the airport included
Finnair, Britainnia Airlines and LTU International Airways. The carriers
planned to start services in October, he said, and added the airport’s
ability to handle larger aircraft was the reason European airlines were
showing interest in operating regular charters to Krabi and sharing the
market with Phuket.
Budget carrier, Tiger Airways, started flying to Phuket four times a week
last October, while Nova Airlines has halted its weekly service to the
destination until the winter schedule.
THAI flies to Krabi four times daily and Thai AirAsia twice daily. Both
airlines are the only two operating domestic flights to Krabi.
Mr Phaisan said he believed THAI would introduce a direct Krabi-Chiang Mai
flight in its winter schedule.
To complete the airport’s transformation, the old terminal, which is closed
for renovations, will handle international traffic when it reopens early
next year. The new terminal will be used for domestic flights.
Tourism Authority of Thailand governor, Juthamas Siriwan, said she was
confident the airport extension would result in increasing visitor arrivals
to Krabi each year.
She said: “The new terminal is a very good opportunity for Krabi. I have
been approached by many airlines from Australia and Hong Kong to fly direct
The airport makeover is one of many changes the destination has undergone
over the past six years. Numerous hotels have opened, including Sheraton
Krabi Beach Resort and Central Krabi Bay Resort, and many other hotels have
Krabi, with its stunning beaches and islands and peaceful atmosphere, is
ideal for couples as well as families. It has so far avoided the
over-development trap, unlike nearby Phuket and has maintained its
provincial charm. (TTG)
Buddhist Lent begins next week
July 10 & 11
With candles and joss sticks
lit, many recite prayers during Buddhist Lent in Pattaya. The Buddhist holy
days of Asalaha Bucha and Khao Pansaa will be celebrated throughout the
country on July 10 and 11.
This year, the Buddhist holy days of Asalaha Bucha and
Khao Pansaa fall on July 10 and 11. Both are recognized public holidays, and
therefore banks and most businesses will be closed. It is also against the
rules to sell alcoholic beverages during the beginning of Buddhist Lent.
Many activities are planned throughout the city, especially at our temples,
and everyone is invited to take part.
Asalaha Bucha Day (July 10)
The Buddhist Holy Day of Asalaha Bucha falls on the 15th night
(15 kham) of the full moon during the eighth month of the Buddhist Lunar
calendar, this year equating to Monday, July 10. “Asalaha Bucha” means
paying homage and worshiping on the day identified according to the Lunar
calendar during the eighth month, Ahsala being the name of the eighth month
in the Pali language.
Asalaha Bucha Day is worshipped because of three important events occurring
on the day. Called the “Triple Gem” (the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha), these
commemorate the first sermon given by the Buddha, called the
“Dharmachakapavattama Sutta” concerning the “Four Noble Truths” presented to
the Buddha’s first five disciples. The sermon set in motion the “Wheel of
Dharma”, which is the meaning of “Dharmachaka”.
The sermon concluded that: 1. All things are a source of suffering from the
constant cycle of birth, disease, old age and death. 2. Desire or the
inability to obtain what one desires is the cause of suffering resulting
from cause and effect. 3. Freedom from suffering can be obtained after the
complete cessation of desire. 4. The last of the Four Noble Truths is the
“Middle Way”, or the path between extremes of asceticism and indulgence
leading to the eliminating of desire. The Eight-Fold Path consists of
possessing the correct: Views, Resolve, Speech, Conduct, Livelihood, Effort,
Mindfulness, and Meditation (or Concentration).
Secondly, the day is considered to be the birth of Buddhism, as the Buddha
departed the location where he obtained his enlightenment two months earlier
and then, coming to a forest area in the city of Pharansi, he showed favour
to five ascetics who became his followers.
The third of the Triple Gems is the Sangha. On this same day, the first
person listened to the Buddha’s sermon, realising the truths contained
therein and becoming the first Buddhist monk. This created the Buddhist
order “Sangha” and the day is known as “Sangha Day” as well as Ahsala Bucha
The Thai government established the observance of Asalaha Bucha Day in 1958.
Buddhist temples throughout the Kingdom arrange ceremonies venerating the
important historic events in the past. Devout Buddhists participate in the
ceremonies by presenting offerings to monks, listening to sermons and
performing ritual prayers.
The entire day is revered and certain precepts are adhered to by the more
devout Buddhist, and by those who have the inclination and opportunity to do
so. The Wientian ritual ceremony is performed in the evening as many go to
nearby temples bringing candles, flowers and joss sticks, completing three
trips walking around the temple area sacred grounds.
The day following the start of Buddhist Lent (Asalaha Bucha Day)
another important Buddhist Holy day begins in Thailand with the custom
called Khao Pansaa. This day falls on the first full moon (1 kham) of the
Buddhist Lunar calendar during the eighth month of every year, which this
year equates to July 11, and ends on the 15th full moon (15 kham) of the
11th month of the Buddhist calendar, usually in mid-October. During a leap
ear it is identified during the second eighth month.
The term “Khao Pansaa” can also translate to entering the months of the
rainy season when monks return to the temple for the duration of the rains,
usually to the temple where they were ordained. They stay there for
approximately three months. The monks are not supposed to depart the temple,
or stay overnight at any other location during the months of rain. Although
the rainy season is considered to be longer than three months, lasting up to
four or even more, monks are only required to remain at the temples for
three of the four months. During the last period of the rainy season they
can then go elsewhere when the “Katin” ceremony is performed presenting
robes to the temples.
Initially, monks were discouraged from travelling during the rainy season
because of the idea that it was inappropriate to walk about during the rainy
season when many small living creatures were about, which could be
accidentally stepped on. This included the rice crops. Inclement weather
also made it difficult to get out and about. Therefore, it was established
long ago that the monks would remain in temples during the rains for three
months, discussing and studying Buddhist scriptures, following Buddhist
disciplines, meditating and performing ritual ceremonies.
The custom of Khao Pansaa has continued on to this day with three classes of
ceremonies, a Royal ceremony conducted by HM the King of Thailand, ritual
ceremonies for devout followers of Buddhism throughout the Kingdom and
ceremonies performed by monks in the temples.
The Royal ceremony is similar to the ceremony performed by the general
public, but more elaborate. HM the King and members of the Royal Family
perform ritual ceremonies to pay homage to Buddhism, and present Khao Pansaa
candles and traditional garments to Buddhist monks. The Royal Family also
donates many other items used in these ceremonies.
Other followers of Buddhism all over Thailand will attend temples in the
morning, bringing food, necessity items, money, the traditional candles,
garments and ceremonial items for the monks, with flowers and candles in
For those people having devout faith they may refrain from the recognised
eight offences for the duration of the three month rainy season just as
monks do, while others may give up a single vice, with yet others
recognising 5-8 offences for the day.
The ceremonies performed by monks in temples revolve around rituals
accepting new monks, who take vows for periods up to the three months, with
some staying even longer. Senior monks at each monastery perform other
ceremonies leading followers in worship and prayer.
The two main items presented to monks during Khao Pansaa are the candles and
garments worn by monks, specifically the bathing robe. The candles were
essential in former times and needed for ceremonies, studying scriptures and
performing various other functions. The candle offering has developed into a
custom still followed.
The presentation of garments worn by monks is said to have originated from
methods of bathing in former times, commonly done in community areas using
streams, rivers, ponds and other sources of water, with monks requiring a
bathing robe. The garments worn by monks continued to develop until the
custom included presenting the entire arrangement worn by monks.
Many people take time away from their work on Khao Pansaa to recognise the
importance of the Buddhist Holy Day. Everyone is invited to participate in
the temple ceremonies and to refrain from offensive behaviour for the day,
and to make the same effort thereafter.