Thailand reaches for the sky with Air Race 1 World Cup Thailand 2017 Presented by Chang

Air Race 1 World Cup Thailand 2017

U-Tapao, Thailand, 17 November, 2017 – The prestigious Air Race 1 World Cup Thailand 2017, being held from 17 to 19 November at U-Tapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport, proves the sky is the limit when it comes to the Kingdom’s ability to organise international events that appeal to overseas visitors.

Air Race 1 World Cup Thailand 2017 Presented by Chang is considered one of the fastest, most thrilling motorsports of its kind and continues to attract a loyal legion of fans as it expands its global reach into Asia.

H.E. Mrs Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, said international calibre events like Air Race 1 World Cup enhances the position of Thailand as a sport and leisure tourism destination, and forms part of several international events and competitions scheduled during the Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018, which is at the heart of the Royal Thai Government’s ongoing efforts to foster the success of the tourism industry as a key economic driver.

“We were delighted by the response from last year’s race in Thailand that proved once again that we are Asia’s most reliable sports event host. Air Race 1 World Cup Thailand 2017 Presented by Chang shows once again that Thailand is ready to expand our sports tourism offering and organise international events that diversify our leisure tourism appeal,” Mrs. Kobkarn added.

Last year, Thailand was the first country in Asia Pacific to successfully host a pylon air race during a test event in preparation for the full World Cup event this week.

Mr. Jeff Zaltman, Air Race 1 CEO, said: “We are just thrilled to be back in Thailand and ready to race. Last year’s event was such a fantastic success, proving once again that Thailand is a highly reliable organising partner.”

Mr. Mukkhaphon Amornwet (Paul), Thailand Air Race 1 Operation Director, said: “It is a great honour to be entrusted with this important organising task. The Thai sports audience is becoming very enthusiastic and sophisticated, so we look forward to introducing the sport to them.”

The event will be broadcast live to the nation via Thai Rath television to expand its appeal to the domestic Thai audience. After an opening ceremony introducing all 16 participating pilots by VIPs, terra firma-based activities include a ‘Food Zone’ with over 50 booths serving Thai culinary delights. There will also be a social media photo booth and photo contents, gaming area, a pilot meet-and-greet area plus live musical entertainment and concerts by local Thai performers.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor, said the sport is experiencing dramatic growth worldwide as fans are attracted to the format that allows aeroplanes to race at the same time.

“Air Race 1 World Cup Thailand 2017 enhances Thailand’s reputation as a top-quality destination for sports enthusiasts and thrill seekers as it appeals to a new generation of travellers looking to combine sport with leisure tourism during a single journey,” Mr. Yuthasak added.

Air Race 1 is a part of international level of the sport known for 100 years as formula one air racing. Regarding as ‘true air racing’, eight aeroplanes race competitively against each other at the same time reaching speeds of more than 450 kilometres per hour. The winner of each heat is first to complete the eight lap, five-kilometre circuit at a height of only 10 metres off the ground.

Anantara announces dates to Bangkok’s 2018 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament

Anantara Hotels and Resorts has announced the dates for the 2018 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament. The event will be held by the banks of Bangkok’s mighty Chao Phraya River from 8 to 11 March, 2018 and promises to have a full range of fun elephant festivities for the whole family including an impressive opening parade, children’s educational day, Ladies Day known as The ‘Bangkok Ascot’. Other entertainment will include a pop up foodie market and a host of popular bands and DJs

Now in its sixteenth year, the festival has become one of the biggest charitable events in Southeast Asia with over US$1.5 million (50 million Baht) raised and donated to projects that better the lives of Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephant population.

King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament
King’s Cup Elephant Polo – Children’s Day

Funds from this year’s event were donated to various projects including the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand which supports veterinary and educational projects to improve the year-round lives of elephants and mahouts in the Surin Province where ex-street elephants face ongoing hardship.

The donations have also funded South East Asia’s first ever workshop to teach mahouts and vets the benefits of Environmental Enrichment to keep elephants happy as well as the construction of a watch tower in a village whose crops are raided by elephants, allowing villagers to watch and warn other villagers of approaching elephants in a safe manner for both people & elephants.

Donations also funded a conservation education trip to a National Park for the children and next generation of hereditary mahouts to learn the importance of elephants in the wild; the transport of Thai elephant vets to international conferences; funding Thai Government aid to teach mahouts to act as veterinary assistants and provide basic first aid and other medical care to their elephants; as well as community based Human Elephant Conflict mitigation projects in two Thai and one Tanzanian National Parks and the purchase of equipment for anti-poaching rangers in a Cambodian National Park.

Other significant benefits from the money raised by the tournament include: the ongoing Thai Elephant Therapy Project which has been underway since 2009 in conjunction with Chiang Mai University’s Department of Occupational Therapy, with future clinics to include children with Down’s syndrome and other conditions now committed until the end of 2018 as well as the funding of Asia’s first workshop to show traditional elephant trainers and camp owners the benefits of Positive Reinforcement Training for captive elephants with additional workshops this year in Myanmar reaching teams responsible for over 200 elephants.

Past projects include the donation of a 500,000 Baht gantry to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC) to help lame elephants stand which is still in operation; and the planting of an elephant corridor of 4,000 trees in Hua Hin to stop farmer vs. elephant conflicts.

A total of 20 unemployed ex-street elephants will take part in the event, during which they will receive full veterinary checks from the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand, under the patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand and the Department of Livestock Development. In addition, all elephants are given essential vitamins, food and care which are not available to them during their normal daily lives.

King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament
King’s Cup Elephant Polo – Elephant Buffet

The welfare of the elephants that participate in the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is of paramount importance, with strict rules ensuring that the pachyderms are well cared for at all times. By imposing a “no micro-chip, no game” rule, Anantara guarantees that all participating elephants have been domestically bred and not captured from the wild or smuggled in from neighbouring countries.

The annual event was awarded a silver medal for Sports CSR Initiative of the Year at the Asia Sports Industry Awards in 2016.  Anantara has long been associated with elephant conservation efforts with the formation of The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which has performed over 60 rescues of elephants off the streets of Thailand.

For more information on the 16th Annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, please visit

Neuralstem Announces Presentation of Clinical Data for NSI-189 in Major Depressive Disorder at the Upcoming American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Annual Meeting

GERMANTOWN, Md., Nov. 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Neuralstem, Inc. (Nasdaq:CUR), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel treatments for nervous system diseases, today announced that data from the Company’s Phase 2 study of NSI-189 in patients with major depressive disorder will be presented at the 56th American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) Annual Meeting, which is being held […]

Sundance Energy Australia Limited Schedules Third Quarter 2017 Earnings Conference Call

DENVER, Nov. 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sundance Energy Australia Limited (ASX:SEA) (NASDAQ:SNDE) (“Sundance” or the “Company”), a U.S. onshore oil and gas exploration and production company focused in the Eagle Ford in South Texas, announced it will host a conference call to review third quarter results. Date:   Australia: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 – United States: […]

Minor Hotels to open AVANI Resort in Hua Hin on 20 November

Bangkok, 17 November, 2017 – Minor Hotels recently announced a 50/50 joint venture partnership with B&G Park to own and operate a resort in the beachside town of Hua Hin in Thailand. Currently operating as Ananda Hua Hin Resort and Spa, the property will be rebranded to AVANI Hua Hin Resort and Villas on 20 November, 2017, and represents an investment of US$22.5 million by Minor Hotels.

Mr. Dillip Rajakarier, Minor Hotels CEO, said: “AVANI is already well established in Thailand and we are excited to add this beachside resort to the brand’s growing portfolio. We look forward to working with B&G Park going forward to ensure this resort is a great success.”

Mr. Theprit Srichawla, Director of B&G Park Co., Ltd., said: “Minor Hotels has all the operational attributes we look for in a joint venture partner and coupled with AVANI’s modern and straightforward approach to hospitality management, we believe AVANI Hua Hin Resort & Villas will stand out in this competitive market.”

Minor Hotels to open AVANI Resort in Hua Hin on 20 November
AVANI Hua Hin Pool Villa view

AVANI Hua Hin Resort and Villas offers a secluded beach escape comprising 196 guest rooms including Standard Rooms, Pool Villas and Suites with impressive views of the garden, pool and ocean. A number of private pool villas also boast direct access to the main lagoon pool.

Facilities include two restaurants, a Jazz Club, AVANISPA, AVANIFIT gym, AVANI Kids Club with indoor and outdoor facilities, a large lagoon style swimming pool and pool bar. Its 900-square-metre Ballroom can accommodate banquets for up to 500 people and theatre style seating for 700 people as well as can be re-configured to offer up to five smaller meeting rooms.

Minor Hotels to open AVANI Resort in Hua Hin on 20 November
Brezza restaurant

The resort’s secluded location is a two-hour drive or a 25 minute flight away from Bangkok. Hua Hin Airport is a 10 minute drive from the resort.

Over 300 travel agents and media set to discover New Shades of Thailand on Mega Fam Trip

Bangkok, 17 November, 2017 –The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), in collaboration with Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways and EVA Airways, is this week hosting over 300 travel agents and media from around the world to the Thailand Mega Fam Trip 2017.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: “This is a fam trip on a grand scale and its purpose is to inform participants about the TAT’s new marketing concept ‘Open to the New Shades of Thailand’. What better way to do this than to give them first-hand experience in Thailand.” 

New Shades of Thailand on Mega Fam Trip 2017
From left: EVA Air’s General Manager Thailand Mr. Andrew Chen; Thai Airways International’s Director Brand and Advertising Department Mr. Kittiphong Sansomboon; TAT Deputy Governor for Policy and Planning Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya; Mrs. Srisuda Wanapinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas; Mr. Yuthasak Suparosn; TAT Governor; Mr. Santi Chudintra, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and the South Pacific; Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TA Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications; and Bangkok Airways’ Europe, Americas, Australasia & Africa Sales Mr. Chulin Kocharoen welcomed international travel agents and media at the ‘New Shades of Amazing Thailand’ Party on 16 November

Previewed at ITB Asia 2017 in October and officially launched at the World Travel Market 2017 earlier this month, the ‘Open to the New Shades of Thailand’ concept encourages visitors to discover a new perspective on Thailand, at both existing and new places and attractions. There is more attention given to enjoying unique local experiences and inclusive tourism, reflecting Thainess and the Thai people’s warmth in welcoming visitors.

Within this, there is a focus on specific customer segments; such as, gastronomy tourism, luxury, weddings and honeymoons, families, female travellers and Gen Y.

The various tour itineraries have been created for the participants of the Thailand Mega Fam Trip 2017; such as, Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi, Chon Buri, Surat Thani, Phuket, Phang-nga, Krabi, Nan, Phrae, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, and Nakhon Ratchasima.

Focusing on Bangkok, Ko Chang and Krabi, TAT has organised 4 trade meet events with local Thai sellers. Taking part in the Ko Chang itinerary are 44 buyers from China. They met with 52 Thai sellers in the trade meet event on 13 November at the KC Grande Resort and Spa Koh Chang.

For the trade meet event in Bangkok, there are 81 buyers from the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Their event is on 16 November at the Dusit Thani Bangkok Hotel with 153 Thai sellers.

The trade meet events in Krabi involve 13 buyers from Japan with 17 Thai sellers on 17 November at the Shell Sea Resort, and 62 buyers from the Americas and Middle East region with 51 Thai sellers on 20 November at the Dusit Thani Krabi Beach Resort.

All the Thailand Mega Fam Trip 2017 participants attended a ‘New Shades of Amazing Thailand’ Party on 16 November from 18.30-21.00 Hrs. at the Nai Lert Park Heritage Home in Bangkok, where they learned more about the TAT’s ‘Open to the New Shades of Thailand’ marketing concept.

Following a record breaking performance in 2016, Thailand this year welcomed 26.10 million international visitor arrivals in the January to September period – a 5.4 percent increase over the same 2016 for period. TAT’s target for the entire 2017 year is 1.81 trillion Baht (50 billion USD) in tourism revenue.

In recognition of how important tourism is for the national economy, the government has set a growth target for tourism revenue of no less than eight percent in 2018.

US, EU Talk Tough on Cambodia

Preferential access to Cambodia’s biggest export market could be removed and senior government officials banned from doing business with U.S. companies in response to a court ordered dissolution of the country’s opposition, statements released Friday suggest.

Cambodia’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday to dissolve the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) and ban 118 of its members from politics for five years for what it determined was a treasonous plot they hatched with U.S. officials to overthrow the government.

The ruling came ahead of a national ballot next year and followed large electoral gains at both the previous parliamentary and local elections for the CNRP � in both cases winning more than 40 percent of the vote.

The European Union, White House and U.S. Senate have all issued strong statements threatening concrete actions in response to the decision � which effectively dismantles any semblance of democracy in the country.

U.S. reaction

In Washington, the State Department said it is greatly concerned over Cambodia’s decision to silence the opposition party and said such a move will isolate the country even further.

Not only does that [ to dissolve the opposition] set back Cambodia’s democratic development, it unnecessarily damages Cambodia’s relationship with the United States and others in the international community; it weakens Cambodia’s economic growth and prosperity; and isolates the country further from democracy to the region, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said during Friday’s press briefing.

“The government of Cambodia should undo its dissolution of the Cambodian National Rescue Party, release the imprisoned leader, Kem Sokha, and allow opposition parties, civil society and media to maintain their legitimate activities,” Nauert added.

A motion unanimously passed by the Senate on Thursday urged the State Department and relevant bodies to consider placing all senior Cambodian government officials implicated in the abuses noted above on the Specially Designated Nationals [SDN] list.

SDN sanctions freeze the assets of targeted individuals, regimes, corporations or countries and generally prohibit U.S. entities from doing business with them, including financing.

The sanctions, which also freeze property interests, are implemented by the Office of Foreign Assets Control and have been applied in nations such as Zimbabwe, Syria, North Korea and Iran.

Will Trump intervene?

The Senate also called on President Donald Trump to intervene directly and make it clear the result of Cambodia’s national election next July will not be recognized under the current conditions.

The White House said in its own statement � the second it has issued rebuking Cambodia this week � that it was terminating support to Cambodia’s National Election Committee (NEC) and its administration of the election as a first step.

It is becoming increasingly evident to the world that the Cambodian government’s restrictions on civil society, suppression of the press, and banning of more than 100 opposition leaders from political activities have significantly set back Cambodia’s democratic development and placed its economic growth and international standing at risk, it said.

The United States will take concrete steps to respond to the Cambodian government’s deeply regrettable actions.

Opposition leader speaks

Sam Rainsy, the opposition leader who resigned in February after Hun Sen, the prime minister, announced plans for a law that could lead to the party’s dissolution, told VOA Khmer that Cambodians should demand Hun Sun’s resignation, saying if the prime minister remains in power “there will be economic sanctions.” The law dissolving the opposition party passed, but it was never applied because Sam Rainsy resigned.

According to Sam Rainsy, Hun Sen must “change his politics to end suppression of the CNRP, to return basic rights and freedom to the Cambodian people, and free all political prisoners, including Kem Sokha, who is president of the CNRP.”

Sam Rainsy, speaking in Washington to a Khmer audience on a radio call-in show, said sanctions could be avoided. If “the decision to dissolve the CNRP is canceled, the CNRP will operate again immediately. Our structure remains intact. There were few, almost no defections to the CPP, as Hun Sen called for.”

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said the lack of U.S. support would not affect the country’s election process because the government had already stacked the budget with enough funds to cover the lost funds.

The budget is already planned and it is the Royal Government of Cambodia which will provide for the election, he said.

Financial support

Ruling Cambodian Peoples Party spokesman Sok Eysan said Cambodia now enjoyed plenty of financial support from China, Russia and Japan.

When the U.S. and EU community do not help, I think others big countries in the world who see it is justice, they will help Cambodia for the election process,” he said.

The European Union has the greatest potential leverage of all � absorbing about half of Cambodia’s total exports � some $5 billion worth.

In a statement on Thursday, the EU suggested preferential access to its markets which Cambodia access on a preferential basis through the Everything But Arms scheme could now be removed.

Respect of fundamental human rights is a prerequisite for Cambodia to continue to benefit from the EU’s preferential Everything But Arms scheme, it said.

EU spokespeople have not yet responded to a request for clarification over what steps it would now take in reaction to the Cambodian Supreme Court ruling and the local embassy spokesperson could not be reached.

Ken Loo, Secretary-General of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said he could not predict if factories would still be able to export to the EU without the EBA preference, but stressed it was up to politicians, not traders, to sort out disputes like this.

If the EU did withdraw the preferential access or suspend the preferential access then of course it will have a severe impact on our industry given that about 43, 44 percent of our exports are going out to the EU, he said.

Labor Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said the European Union and the United States should stop worrying about the political situation and focus on trade

Cambodia doesn’t rely only on the European community but Cambodia has other country’s markets and Cambodia strongly believes that the EU community and U.S. will not kill the encouragement to respect working conditions with trade,” he said.

Some 600,000 Cambodians are formally employed in the garment sector with many more believed to be working informally in the same industry – making it the biggest source of regular income in the country.


Employment opportunities are so scarce in Cambodia that an estimated one million people currently work abroad in Thailand despite the country’s reputation for severe exploitation of migrant workers.

For this reason suspension of the EBA as a punitive measure is sometimes referred to as the nuclear option and is considered by most analysts to be a highly unlikely measure.

Dr. Lee Jones, an Associate Professor in international politics at Queen Mary University of London, said the experience of similar sanctions in Myanmar demonstrated that while crippling for the sector, they had practically no effect on the regime itself.

Targeting the garment sector could severely harm the interests of that particular part of Cambodian society would not actually assist in putting pressure on the regime, in fact quite the opposite, he said. I mean the state would lose export revenues and things like this but the people who would really be harmed would be the workers in those factories and they’re the main ones that have actually been battling the government on the streets after the last election.

Targeted sanctions were a better idea, he said, but still had a very patchy success rate at changing regime behavior.

Source: Voice of America


BANGKOK, Thailand � Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has confirmed that his deputy Gen Prawit Wongsuwan and Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda will be retained in the upcoming cabinet reshuffle.

He, however, did not say whether both of them would be holding the same portfolio or assume a new post after the reshuffle.

Both Gen Prawit and Gen Anupong will stay (in the cabinet), he told the media after chairing the Rice Policy and Management Committee meeting at Government House, here, today.

The prime minister was also asked on the fate of Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikulya, who has been criticised for his ministry’s failure in resolving several agriculture-related problems.

According to Prayut, Chatchai who was his classmate would remain in the cabinet, but did not state his new portfolio.

He also rubbished mounting speculation that he will be taking over the Defence Ministry which is currently held by his deputy, Prawit or appointing national police chief Gen Chakthip Chaijinda as a minister in the new cabinet lineup.

I will not take over the post of Defence Minister, he said, while also dismissing the suggestion of appointing a former politician as minister in the new cabinet.

He also said that he had yet to forward his new cabinet list to King Vajiralongkorn for endorsement.

He asked for patience as the announcement will be made in December.