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Vol. XVI No. 5
Friday February 1 - February 7, 2008

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by Saichon Paewsoongnern

 


TRAVEL & TOURISM
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Three Pattaya resorts win ASEAN Green Hotel Recognition Awards

GTCC sees good year ahead for German-Thai relations

Networking is as easy as ABC

Public urged to become kidney donors

Sokha catches Cambodian boom


Three Pattaya resorts win ASEAN Green Hotel Recognition Awards

Dusit Thani Pattaya’s general manager Chatchawal Supachayanont (left) receives the ASEAN Green Hotel Recognition Award from Dr. Suvit Yodmani, Minister of Tourism and Sports and Chairman of ASEAN Tourism Ministers as Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, ASEAN Secretary General looks on.

Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi (center), Vice President of Siam City Hotels & Resorts, congratulates Saran Nimihut (right), Regional General Manager and General Manager of the Siam Bayshore Resort & Spa, Pattaya and Surapan Somthai (left), General Manager of the Siam Bayview Hotel, Pattaya, on their hotels’ winning
the ASEAN Green Hotel Recognition Awards 2008.

The Dusit Thani, Pattaya, The Siam Bayshore Resort & Spa, and The Siam Bayview Hotel all recently received ASEAN Green Hotel Recognition certificates at an awards ceremony held in the Vibhavadee Ballroom of the Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok Hotel.
The three Pattaya resorts were among only 10 hotels throughout Thailand selected based on their fulfilling of the ASEAN Green Hotel Standards, which include long-term commitment to protecting the environment through stringent environmental-friendly practices and energy conservation measures.
The awards were presented at the eleventh meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers held in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2008 in Bangkok.
Commenting on being selected as one of the ten recipients, Chatchawal Supachayanont, general manager of Dusit Thani Pattaya said: “The Dusit Thani Pattaya is happy to accept this award from the ASEAN Green Hotel Standard. The management and staff of our hotel have been working closely with environmentally friendly organizations to show our support in initiating programs aimed at creating a cleaner and better environment. We promise to continue our efforts to help save Mother Nature.”


GTCC sees good year ahead for German-Thai relations

Peter Nordhues
Members and friends of the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce (GTCC) met at the Moon River Pub on Friday, January 11, for their first Stammtisch of the year.

(L to R) GTCC Executive Manager Stefan Bürkle in an interview with Elfi Seitz, executive editor of Pattaya Blatt.
Stefan Bürkle, new executive manager of the GTCC, and Rene Pisters, general manager of the Thai Garden Resort, welcomed some 50 guests from the Eastern Seaboard and Bangkok. Pisters raised a glass to propose a toast to 2008 and to congratulate Bürkle on the occasion of his promotion.
“German-Thai business relations have been very successful in 2007,” Bürkle announced. “Thailand has retained its attractiveness for investors world-wide. German technology is very much appreciated in Thailand. Last year’s trade volume between both nations totaled in more than 5 billion euro.”
He went on to say perspectives for 2008 aren’t so bad either. “Numerous investors from Germany plan to become active in the Thai market. The most promising project surely is Volkswagen’s consideration of establishing a plant in the Kingdom. And then there is the German Technology Symposium and Exhibition that will be held in Bangkok in November, where many entrepreneurs will get the chance to present their products.”
Bürkle promised that the members would continue to meet the second Friday of every other month at the same location.
Next, he said, the GTCC plans to expand its presence to all parts of the Eastern Seaboard. “Let me invite all our members, friends and interested ones to join our regular meetings. The chamber is by no means a bureaucratic organization. You members are the chamber.”
Following the official part of the meeting, attendees indulged in the superb buffet prepared by the Thai Garden Resort chefs. Wine and beer kept throats wet and the active networking function going. Later on, the popular Power Jam Band went on stage and performed their program of varied international hits until late.

(L to R) Gerrit Niehaus, owner of Thai Garden Resort,
Otto Duffner of Bei Otto, GTCC Executive Manager Stefan Bürkle,
 and Rene Pisters, GM of Thai Garden Resort.


Networking is as easy as ABC

Members of the ABC pose after the function. (L to R) Bjørn Hellesylt, Helmut Buchberger, Gerhard Wienand, Rainer Roessler, (2nd row) Ingolf Kunz, Dieter Thelen, Michael Breeger and Gerd Wackernagel.

Peter Nordhues
The Asian Business Club met on January 15 at Woodlands Hotel and Resort for its first gathering of 2008, when ABC chairman Helmut Buchberger announced the goals of the coming year that he and all members are confident of achieving.
Exchanging information, fostering business ties and presenting the service of all club members is the main idea of ABC, and now the club is poised to organize new highlight events.
Planned are lectures from consultants about topics of general interest. Networking nights are also set to take place, as a chance for members to promote their own businesses. In the past, this concept has proven to be the right decision, and club members are positive to see this successful concept return.
Members agreed to hold their meetings every other Tuesday, so everybody should have the chance to attend at least once a month.
ABC supports all entrepreneurs and executive employees that conduct a business in Asia. There are no restrictions to political, religious or ideological preferences. The club itself serves as a platform and has no financial or business related interests. The official language is English, but conversations in various other languages have always been a trademark of the ABC functions.
For more information click on www.asian-business-club.org or send an email to [email protected]


Public urged to become kidney donors

Thai Red Cross says many more lives could be saved

Kamolthep Malhotra
The Ministry of Public Health is working with the Thai Red Cross to urge members of the public to perform a great merit by donating their kidneys upon their own deaths for use as transplants in those who are suffering from severe kidney disease.
Dr Prat Bunyawongviroj, permanent secretary at the Ministry said the campaign follows the initiative set out by Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani, patron of the Kidney Foundation of Thailand.
The Ministry of Public Health has assigned 95 hospitals throughout the country to act as centers where people can sign up to donate organs. If a donor is declared brain-dead, the Thai Red Cross Organ Donation Center will be contacted, as it is the center for providing the donated organs to patients waiting for operations.
Dr Prat said that the transplant of an organ is the last option for curing a patient with failure of the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas or kidney. One intact disease-free body can supply enough internal organs for seven transplants.
There are a large number of people in Thailand who need to have their blood purified daily by using a kidney dialysis machine. Many of these people can resume relatively normal lives if kidneys are donated. To date, 91,888 kidney transplants have been performed throughout the country, taking the kidneys from newly deceased people.
“Currently, the main problem in Thailand is the lack of organs for implantation, due to the small number of donors,” said Dr Prat. “Many people do not consider becoming donors because they believe in their next lives they would not have a complete set of organs.
“Understanding needs to be created by the Ministry of Public Health, to assign medical personnel to propose to patients’ relatives who have been diagnosed as brain dead, to donate their intact organs to patients who are waiting for transplants, which can prolong their lives.
“This is especially for using organs from people who have died because of accidents, because they are still intact and can be used as a last option for patients who are waiting for a donated organ. This will be a great merit made by the deceased person.”
Dr Prat said that the Ministry of Public Health has a plan to develop Rajvithi Hospital to become a professional transplant center for transplanting kidneys, livers, hearts and lungs. Currently the hospital has four regional hospitals under its responsibility that perform kidney transplants. They are Chonburi Hospital, Budhachinarat Hospital in Pitsanuloke, Rayong Hospital, and the Sapasitthiprasong Hospital in Ubon Ratchathani.


Sokha catches Cambodian boom

Sirima Eamtako
(TTG Asia)

The high-profile groundbreaking ceremony of the 33km road link to the top of Bokor Mountain in Cambodia’s south-western coastal province of Kampot, presided over by prime minister, Hun Sen, last week, is paving the way for the development of the country’s newest tourism destination.
Sokha Hotels and Resorts, the hotel investment and management arm of Cambodia’s petroleum giant Sokimex, is developing a US$1 billion mix-use project, including an 800-room five-star casino hotel, theme park, shopping mall, residential complexes, restaurants and community facilities and infrastructure.
Bokor Mountain Resort is set on a 2,500-hectare area atop Bokor Mountain in Bokor Resort town in Kampot, located 148km south of Phnom Penh, and near the south-western coastal provinces of Sihanoukville and Koh Kong.
Sokha Hotels and Resorts group general manager, Mr. Bobby Toh, said the area used to welcome a number of tourists especially from Europe. However, because of the war, the resort with its 20 French colonial-style buildings was left in ruins and the road was damaged.
Mr. Toh added: “With Cambodia now enjoying a tourism boom, with the country hitting the two-million-arrival mark for the first time last year, and good annual arrivals anticipated, now is the time to start redeveloping the once popular destination.” He said the plan was to develop the area into a world-class tourist attraction and lifestyle city.
Construction of the five-star casino hotel and theme park and restoration of the 20 French colonial-style buildings into restaurants and mid-range accommodation, is scheduled to begin once the US$20-million road works is completed within the next 30 months.
The hotel and tourism related projects are scheduled to be completed by around mid-2012. The entire project, which will also involve all related road works, water supply station, water treatment systems, vegetable farms, fruit orchards, a hospital and school, is slated to be completed in phases within the next 15 years.


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