With its own unique charm, Chiang Mai has always been a top destination among local Thais and has recently become a favourite city among international visitors, having been voted the third best city in Asia by Travel+Leisure magazine for two consecutive years.
Recently, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) joined hands with MasterCard Worldwide in announcing the launch of the “72 hrs Amazing Thailand Chiang Mai” campaign, following last year’s introduction of 72 hrs Amazing Thailand which reportedly received an extremely warm welcome from short-haul visitors.
Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, said, “As a destination, Chiang Mai is one of the most amazing cities in the whole Southeast Asian region with its rich culture, diverse tourist attractions, trendy and hip boutique hotels and resorts, as well as an exotic vibe that makes it charmingly different from other big cities. Exploring Chiang Mai might need one full week in order to fully absorb its Lanna-styled attractiveness. However, three days or 72 hours might also be just what one needs, especially international visitors, to know and fall in love with the capital of the North.”
Buoyed by its retaining the No. 3 ranking in Top 10 Asia’s Best Cities in Travel+Leisure’s 13th Annual World’s Best Awards Readers’ Survey Results announced early July, Mrs. Juthaporn believed Chiang Mai will see a large number of overseas visitors, along with locals who always rank the Lanna capital as one of their favourite destinations, who would love to come and see for themselves what Asia’s third best city, after Bangkok and Kyoto, has to offer.
72 hrs Amazing Thailand Chiang Mai was created following the massive success of 72 hrs Amazing Thailand, aimed at introducing tourists to other attractive destinations in Thailand, starting off with Chiang Mai. MasterCard holders will receive five to 50 percent of discounts and other privileges from companies participating in the project.
Similar campaigns promoting other cities in Thailand are expected to be launched in the future, which are all targeted at mid-to high-monthly income earners.
The campaign, held from July 2008 to December 2009 aims to showcase a selectively wide range of Chiang Mai’s newest and most stylish resorts and hotels, hip shopping spots, luxurious pampering hideaways, chic dining outlets and not-to-be-missed activities when visiting the majestic northern province during a short trip of 3 days. All details of these attractions are featured in a 250-baht coloured guidebook and map in English available at leading bookstores.
As a travel destination, Chiang Mai boasts a wide array of diverse attractions from cultural and historical sites, natural parks and natural tourist spots, to local traditions and festivals. “Whether it’s New Year, Loi Krathong or Songkran, Chiang Mai draws a lot of visitors all year round,” according to Sethapon Chindanon, Executive Director, Northern Region.
Local food has always been an added attraction. With new hip dining outlets in town, epicureans are spoiled for too many choices during their stay. When it comes to accommodation, Chiang Mai is at the forefront of a city with the best boutique and hip resorts and hotels, from the property with typical Chiang Mai local ambiance like Lanna Accent Boutique Villa, to theme resorts like Tea Vana, decorated in a modern Chinese style and understandingly having “tea” served in many purposes.
Chiang Mai is one of Thailand most popular destinations, after Bangkok, welcoming 1,755,140 international visitors in 2007. The average length of stay is 3.42 days. In 2008, TAT targets a 7% increase in tourist arrivals to 15.48 million with tourists from (Malaysia, China, and Japan as top three major markets.
For more information, log on to http://www.thailand72hrsamazing.com or call TAT at Call Center 1672.
Contact information: International Public Relation DivisionTourism Authority of ThailandTel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419E-mail: prdiv3@tat.or.thWeb site: www.tatnews.org

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