PHITSANULOK, 9 April 2013: An Udon Thani-Chiang Mai bus plunged into a ravine in this northern province Monday, killing five and injuring 49 people, police reported.
The accident happened at 0200 on the Phitsanulok-Dan Sai Road in Tambon Bopho of Nakhon Thai district.
Police said the ravine is about 10-metre deep. Thirty-nine passengers were rushed to the Dan Sai district hospital and 10 others to Yupparaj Nakhon Thai district hospital.
BANGKOK, 4 April 2013: Thailand needs a Disneyland-style theme park according to the country’s travel agency association that says it will present the recommendation to the new Tourism and Sports Minister, Somsak Phurisrisak.
ATTA acting president, Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, said the association will resubmit its ideas on a Disneyland project because in the past the government had not taken its recommendations seriously.
“We hope the new minister will think differently about the project after we presented the plan to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra last year.”
BANGKOK, 3 April 2013: Association of Thai Travel Agents’ member companies handled 1,249,109 international tourists at Suvarnabhumi Airport in the first quarter of this year representing an improvement of 48.10% over 843,396 visits during the same quarter last year.
ATTA released its data, Tuesday, based on fees member agencies pay to the airport to provide a meet-and-greet service for international clients. It is considered an accurate barometer for the tourism industry, but is limited to travel through Bangkok.
The latest improvement would suggest travel agents are increasing their market share, but it is largely an improvement based on a robust Chinese market that is still dominated by group tours.
BANGKOK, 27 March 2013: Association of Domestic Travel estimates domestic travel could account for as many as 30 million trips and Bt200,000 million in tourism revenue during March to May this year, but it will not benefit domestic travel agents.
Overall the association president admits the market is declining as Thai prefer to organise their own trips in the country rather than use travel agencies.
ADT president, Yutthachai Soonthronrattanavate, said there was a strong shift in the market that sees Thais confidently organising their own travel and booking online or using social media and smart phone applications to source travel opportunities.
BERLIN, 22 March 2013: German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said Thursday that profits rose sharply last year as passenger numbers hit record levels in face of soaring petrol prices.
“Higher sales, higher profits, higher investments and above all a new record in traffic on our trains,” boasted chief executive Ruediger Grube in a statement.
Deutsche Bahn’s net profit rose by 10.9% to 1.48 billion euros (US$1.9 billion), underlying or operating profit jumped by 17.3% to 2.7 billion euros on a 3.7% increase in revenues to 39.3 billion euros.
BANGKOK, 22 March 2013: Tourism associations fear the boom in tourism to Thailand will caused a shortage of tour buses and drivers, hotel personnel service standards will decline and there will be a glaring shortfall in tour guide to serve Chinese and Indonesian tourists.
Association of Thai Travel Agents president, Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, said there was already a shortage of tour bus and professionally trained bus drivers to serve the increase in travellers to Thailand.
“Last week, the association proposed to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports that it work with the Department of Land Transport to organise training programmes for drivers.”
BANGKOK, 21 February 2013: The Transport Company said, Wednesday, it has launched a daily bus services between Bangkok and Phnom Penh and Siem Reap after delays that prevented the launch late last year.
TTR Weekly reported the company’s decision to start the service last October, but readers, who were keen to use the service, quickly pointed out that the company failed to roll out the service. Company officials at the time told TTR Weekly some legal approvals were lacking on the Cambodian side to ensure the cross-border service could operate.
Crossing the border between the Thai town of Aranyaprathet and Poipet in Cambodia, the bus will now operate twice daily to Siem Reap and daily to Phnom Penh.
SEOUL, 8 February 2013: Seoul’s city government is offering a cash reward of 500,000 won (US$460) to anyone informing the authorities about taxi drivers who rip off foreign tourists.
City officials said Thursday that the move was an attempt to curb a practise that was “still rampant” despite previous crackdown efforts.
Government official Kim Su-Jeong told AFP that foreigners ripped off by taxi drivers could claim the reward themselves by dialling an English-language hotline and reporting the driver.
BANGKOK, 20 December 2012: The Thai government hopes to reduce road accidents during the New Year holiday by 5%.
Last year, 335 people died in road accidents during the seven days of the New Year holiday. More than a third of the deaths were attributed to drunk driving.
The government deputy spokesman, Pakdeehan Himathongkham, said the Ministry of Interior’s campaign, 27 December to 2 January, should help to put a brake on the annual fatalities during the festive season.
BANGKOK, 17 December 2012: The Transport Company says it will open bus routes to all Mekong countries by 2015.
Currently it is operating 10 routes between Thailand and Laos and announced the launch of the first two bus links with Cambodia on 29 December.
The Mekong region comprises of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and China PRC’s Yunnan and Guang Xi provinces.