Sitting astride the mighty River Ping is Thailand’s second largest city, Chiang Mai, which was the location for the 37th annual ASEAN Tourism Forum, reports Michael Flood. The city can trace its history back for 700 years.
This wonderful old city was formally established as a capital city of Lanna in 1296.
Chiang Mai is the economic engine of Northern Thailand. It is also one of the Kingdom’s must-visit destinations, and has received several awards and accolades, including the third ‘Best City’ in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Top 15 Cities for 2017, and ranked 12th in TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards’ Top 25 Destinations in Asia.
Blessed with a wonderful climate, rich local cultural and natural heritage, and numerous Royal Projects, Chiang Mai is a testament to the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s latest marketing concept of ‘Open to the New Shades’ where first-time and repeat visitors can discover new perspectives in existing Thai attractions.
Chiang Mai continues to benefit from convenient air access. In 2017, it welcomed a total of 7,614 direct international flights and 567 indirect flights (via major destinations).
In December 2017 Qatar Airways launched a direct non-stop service from Doha to Chiang Mai, bringing significant new sources of traffic by allowing visitors from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to connect to the Northern Thai city via the airline’s hub in Qatar.
This year’s ATF was attended by 240 buyers and more than 700 exhibitors , with 323 booths representing companies and properties from the 10 ASEAN countries, and more than 100 international and local media.