The Nation



Chiang Mai Zoo gears up for Asean

Chiang Mai Zoo is building a Bt100-million enclosure for King penguins from Japan as part of its bid to become a top destination for Asean tourists.

The project would be completed late this year, zoo director Thanapat Pongpamorn said yesterday.

The park already features an aquarium that is the region's largest learning centre for marine life, and the 800-year-old Ku Din Khao Temple, he said.

The zoo targets a 10-per-cent increase in both attendance and revenue, to 1.4 million visitors and Bt115 million per year.

To prepare for an influx of foreign visitors expected when the Asean Economic Community launches in 2015, the zoo is holding language classes for its staff, covering English, Burmese, Khmer and Chinese.

More animals from neighbouring countries would be on display, including the red-shanked douc monkey from Vietnam, and deer native to Cambodia, said Thanapat, while the national flags of Asean countries would be flown around the park.

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