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Battling boat show inertia

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Battling boat show inertia | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: In a region already swamped with boat shows, the development of a new show has not been an easy undertaking, admitted Andy Treadwell, managing director of 3L Events, organizers of the Thailand Yacht Show (TYS) 2016 as well as the Singapore Yacht Show.

The biggest problem with launching such a show is convincing the industry that you know what you’re doing, that you have the backing and the resources, and that this time it will be different than the small, routine shows that have gone before. It’s an awful lot of hard work – not just to launch a show, but to keep developing it and making it work for clients, Mr Treadwell told the Phuket Gazette.

He explained that the plethora of small boat shows in the region, that are created and run to promote marinas and sell surrounding property, are not serving the interests of the yachting industry.

“When there are organizers who don’t really have the resources or the passion for success driving them to constantly improve and grow the visitor base every year, it is hardly surprising that the industry is skeptical of anything new. However, I am not mad and I don’t take this kind of investment, which is huge at the beginning, lightly,” he said.

The move to launch the TYS was strategically the best move for all stakeholders, including the government, which backed the show financially. Cabinet approved a budget of 15 million baht to organize the event, assigning the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to take responsibility to ensure the success of the show.

The enthusiastic support of the government was a key factor in Mr Treadwell’s push to launch the event, as was access to a deep-water marina truly capable of berthing superyachts.

“You can’t develop an industry such as this one without full support from the government. And here in Thailand it has only taken a year to get exactly that. I have never before worked with such a proactive, enthusiastic and genuinely interested government, one that fully understands the benefits that the high-end yacht tourism industry can bring to the country,” he said.

Despite this support, finalizing details was more complicated, which led to delayed marketing efforts for the show until January.

“So we’ve only really had a couple of months to get the first edition underway. While this is obviously a very short lead time, we have generated an exceptional turnout; there are more than 40 boats, including more than a dozen super-yachts and megayachts. The management and staff at the Ao Po Marina have also worked flat-out to make the modifications necessary to put on a world-class show – and now we have it,” he said

Mr Treadwell expects to see the show growing substantially over the next two or three years as it becomes the kick-off event of the year for the marine leisure industry in Phuket, significantly supporting the island’s other high-value international yachting events, such as the annual Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, the Asia Superyacht Rendezvous, and Cape Panwa Hotel Raceweek.

As the first day of the Thailand Yacht Show 2016 drew to a close last night, with hundreds of visitors and guests still on the docks partying aboard the superyachts and absorbing the beauty of scores of other luxury vessels at 10:30pm, it became clear that this was the big one – the game changer that will set the standards in Thailand for years to come.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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