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Hotel association believes junta’s beach crackdown will lure tourists back

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Hotel association believes junta’s beach crackdown will lure tourists back | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) is encouraged to continue improving the public image of attractions across the country in a bid to draw more tourists in the coming high season.

“More major tourist destinations such as Pattaya and Bang Saen in Chon Buri, the city of Chiang Mai, Koh Samui in Surat Thani, Koh Chang in Trat and other popular beaches in the South need to restore their image and also get rid of local mafia gangs,” Prakit Chinamourphong, ex-president of the Thai Hotels Association, said yesterday.

Tourism had suffered damaged for years by local people through scamming. A lot of tourists were also cheated, and that sullied the country’s reputation, he said.

The Thai Hotels Association and key travel associations including the Association of Thai Travel Agents and Domestic Travel Association have called on the Tourism Ministry to crack down on the mafia at destinations for many years but nothing was achieved because of interference from local politicians and businesses.

However, when the NCPO moved to clean up management and organize several places such as Patong Beach in Phuket and Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan, their tourism images immediately turned beautiful, he claimed.

“Patong beach now seems more beautiful than beaches in Hawaii in the US, while Hua Hin has now become more upmarket and looks costly,” Mr Prakit said.

Earlier, the Tourism Council of Thailand asked the junta to reappoint the National Tourism Policy Committee to deal with tough situations as well as to solve problems at tourist attractions nationwide.

The body has been inactive since the military took control of the government in May.

The Tourism Council also asked the military to continue rebuilding the country’s tourism image in order to restore tourists’ confidence. Some of the urgent problems needing to be fixed are illegal taxis, tourist scams and non-standard operators at beaches.

The Thai Hotels Association and the Tourism Council recently proposed tourism recovery plans for short and long terms to the junta in order to help revive the economy. The private sector has also asked officials to boost security and safety measures for visitors and promote domestic tourism.

Many tourists are returning to the country ahead of the peak season beginning in October. Chinese tourists are pouring into Thailand this week, just after visa fees were waived for them (story here).

Recently, the Tourism Authority of Thailand arranged a special greeting for groups of Chinese tourists in a bid to polish Thailand’s tourism image (story here).

— The Nation

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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.

Continue Reading

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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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