Published on Thursday, December 4, 2008
TravelMole Guest Comment by Andrew J Wood, general manager of Chaophya Park Hotel & Resorts in Bangkok, president Skal International Bangkok, Skal councilor Thailand and Skal Asian area director of development.
Thailand's tourism industry is asking what can be done to spearhead a recovery programme.
We need to quickly put together a recovery roadmap. It will involve all sectors of the industry and government. The damage has been colossal.
It must include the airlines, Board of Investment [BOI] the Department of Export Promotion [DEP] and should draw in the ministries involving finance, trade and industry and should be spearheaded by the Ministry of Tourism and Sport or the PM himself. Skal International will be more than happy to contribute along with ATTA, THA, TICA, PATA.
We need promotional packages and incentives.
We need amazing air fares and fam trips.
We need to get the message across that not one tourist was hurt during the closure of the airport: the airport was left intact by the demonstrators - no vandalism, graffiti or damage of any kind.
We need to spread the word that Thailand is and continues to be a wonderful diverse tourism destination, great beaches, food, spas, hotels, nature, sports, smiles etc.
We need a huge journalist programme to get articles and stories of "back to normal".
We need photo/i-phone competitions, activities, promotions and advertising.
We need more roadshows and to attend more trade shows.
We need budgets to make a big enough impact.
When shall we start?
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.