Phuket flights: Air Bagan to Burma?

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PHUKET: Myanmar’s two private airlines have announced plans to purchase new aircraft to service new routes, including Phuket, in time for the upcoming peak tourism season, the Earth Times Online reported yesterday.

Both Air Bagan and Air Mandalay said they would expand their limited fleets before November when their high season for tourism begins. The season, which coincides with Phuket’s, ends in February.

Air Bagan says it plans to buy two Airbus A-320s to service, in addition to Phuket, other regional destinations such as Bangkok, Siem Reap, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. It also plans to acquire two ATR 72-500 prop jets for its domestic routes.

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But with only four months remaining before the country’s high season arrives, the airline may be facing a challenge.

According to a report in the Myanmar Times last week, an Air Bagan spokesman says that the company “hasn’t decided exactly when the new aircraft will be purchased or where they will be acquired from.”

Myanmar saw a 39 per cent jump in international tourist arrivals during the first three months of this year, according to the Pacific Asia Travel Association.

Tourist boat crash: 42 injured

Associated Press
Forty-two people were injured after two boats carrying Thai and foreign tourists collided off an island famed for its wild parties, police said Sunday.

The boats were ferrying tourists to and from Koh Pha-ngan, home of the ‘full moon parties’ that attract thousands of young, mostly Western tourists every month.

Police Lt Pongkajorn Sukrasang said the boats collided and overturned around midnight Saturday, throwing the passengers into the rough sea during a rainstorm just off the island.

Police said the accident had little effect on the party in process. A number of apparently drunk foreigners were reportedly lying on the beach Sunday morning near the point at which the boats had collided.

The monthly parties on Koh Pha-ngan, which lies about 200km east of Phuket, are rave-type gatherings fueled by drugs and alcohol and have become associated with crimes such as rape and theft because of their freewheeling atmosphere.

The Koh Pha-ngan party which ended yesterday coincided with Phuket’s own mass beach blowout, the Phuket Music Festival. That event was expected to attract about 50,000 young revelers to Karon Beach for two nights of non-stop dancing in the sand to music performed by international artists and DJs.

Thai tourism looks to ASEAN

Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has assigned Prime Minister’s Office Minister Ong-art Klampaiboon to explain Thailand’s ‘situation’ to its fellow Asean member countries.

Mr Ong-art said yesterday that Mr Abhisit had assigned him to witness the inauguration of Philippine President-elect Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III, which takes place in ceremonies in Manila tomorrow and Wednesday. The premier needs to attend the weekly cabinet meeting, Mr Ong-art said.

“I will tell foreign countries that the situation in Thailand has returned to normal and it is not as bad as many had seen earlier,” he added.

During his visit, the minister said he will promote tourism to people in the Asean countries as many toursts in Thailand come from that region.

Call for bids on tourism summit

Asia Travel Tips

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has opened the tendering process to find the host city for the 12th Global Travel & Tourism Summit.

The organisation has issued a ‘Request for Proposals’ (RFPs) to cities around the world wishing to submit applications to host the 12th Summit, scheduled to take place a little less than two years form now.

The RFPs and supporting documents must be returned by September 1, 2010 to the WTTC’s Events Director, Tony Thompson.

The Summit hosts will be able to showcase their destination to over 1,000 senior business and industry leaders from the travel and tourism, hospitality, aviation and cruise sectors.

Earlier this year, Las Vegas won the bid to host the 11th Global Travel & Tourism Summit, which is scheduled for May 17-19 next year.

— Gazette Editors

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