Thailand entices tourists, business back

Thailand entices tourists, business back

The Thai government launches travel incentives in a bid to win back the world's travelers as government advisories are reduced
Thailand travel
A Thai worker climbs on a scaffold during repair work on the window of Bangkok's Gaysorn shopping mall.

Several signs have emerged this week that the world’s confidence in Bangkok is slowly returning following last month’s violence.

On the front page of today’s Hong Kong Standard is the headline “Bangkok’s Back.”  The Standard reports that there are some great deals for Hong Kong residents looking for cheap trips to Thailand now that the government has lowered its travel advisory against Thailand from the top warning level, black, down to red. 

This is good news for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), which says the country needs to focus on domestic and regional travelers from the Middle East and Asia right now given it's the middle of the low season. In a statement released this week, the TAT says it will work with the private sector to offer special promotions for travelers. 

"The proposed tourism recovery packages have to be carefully planned to ensure the most effective returns on investment, especially in view of the fact that Thai tourism is now in the low season," says the TAT.

The Thailand chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association -- PATA -- says it wants the world’s travel industry to throw their support behind the Tourism Authority's inclusive 'welcome back' campaign, which is currently being created based on constructive 'all for one, one for all' principles, but notes that  cheap deals aren’t a quick fix.

“The problem is not price,” said PATA in a statement released to the media. “The problem is how to show travel buyers and consumers that Thailand is safe, stable and more welcoming than ever. We need a unified, consistent response, not knee-jerk price cutting.”

In terms of travel advisories, many countries have revised their warnings this week. On Thursday, the United States canceled the May 27 travel warning for Thailand "due to improvements in safety and security conditions throughout the country."

Canada has lifted its warning against non-essential travel to Thailand, but urges its residents to “exercise a high degree of caution.” The United Kingdom too has replaced its previous advice, which advised against all but essential travel to Bangkok and Chiang Mai, now advising travelers to exercise caution if heading there.