Reviving Thailand’s Tourism

By | Category: Travel destinations

The last 12 months or so have not been kind to Thai tourism. Visitors have been deterred from going there because of the deeply held views of supporters of the government and the trenchant views of the opposition. Disruption has occurred in Bangkok and some other places and there have been outbreaks of violence. The British Foreign Office recommended that visitors stay away and as that can affect some insurance policies, some will have followed that advice. Although the stand-off still exists between government and opposition, things have been quieter. Throughout this year, very few tourists have been affected even where they fly in to Bangkok.
But media stories and pictures of the two sides hurling stones and facing baton charges have a more long term effect.
But the tourist board and the government has shown themselves to be very pragmatic and adventurous in their attempts to keep us visiting them. Little things such as the publicity they will have got when the won Best Show garden at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this week. Those pictures show a tranquil scene and that is how some people will view Thailand. If they can persuade the rest of us that all is tranquil, the Tourist Authority of Thailand will be delighted.
But there are other more tangible things that Thailand has done. Landing fees at the airports have been reduced by 15% for nine months; airport parking fees have been halved and visa fees have been waived for nine months as well. There have been tax breaks for small businesses and some travel related companies have banded together in a campaign of “One Price-All Destinations” with the support of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. So airlines and tour operators should be able to provide us with better deals to go there.
Visitors to Thailand are returning and the government is forecasting about 15.5 million visitors in 2011. Next winter expect a big push to persuade us to go there. On the blogs however, locals in tourist destinations like Pattaya and Phuket say more is needed and the number of visitors is lower than the government says. That Thailand has appeal is shown by the fact that you don’t even have to go there in order to experience what Thailand is about. In Queensland, Australia, one hotel group has introduced a new retreat called the Spicers Tamarind to give Australians that touch of Thailand.
So be prepared. Thailand may be targeting you

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