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Phuket Business: The European tourist market is dormant, but not done

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Business: The European tourist market is dormant, but not done | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Local officials and tourism industry representatives are optimistic about the revival of the European tourist market in the near future, following the recent success of a Phuket tourism promotion roadshow in Germany.

The Internationale Tourismus – Borse 2012 (ITB 2012), one of the largest tourism trade shows in the world, was held in Berlin, Germany.

Representing Phuket at the event were 28 tourism operators who were accompanied by Phuket Vice Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada, Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) President Somboon Jirayus, PTA vice-chairman Phurit Maswongsa and a number of other officials.

PTA President Somboon Jirayus said: “Europe has always been a key tourist market for Phuket. Even though its economy still has problems, we believe that the region will continue to be an important tourist source market for us in the long run.

“We expect the EU economy to improve within two years, and at the same time Phuket Airport should be able to accommodate more direct flights from Europe. . . we are hoping that the Eastern European tourist market will expand.”

“We leased out a 180 square meter area to facilitate the 28 operators and promote tourism to the European market.”

PTA vice-chairman Phurit Maswongsa agreed, noting that European tourist direct sales prospects look promising.

“From ITB 2012, we’ve gotten confirmation from Thai Airways that there will be at least two more direct flights to Phuket by April,” he said.

Following their recent takeover of Air Berlin, Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, will be offering direct flight service to Phuket from Abu Dhabi after March 25, he noted.

Mr Phurit pointed out that direct flights between Copenhagen and Phuket, initially launched as a seasonal service, will now become a regular service available year round.

These developments are a testament to the effectiveness of our roadshow campaigns, he added.

Vice Governor Chamroen went on to point out that this was the sixth time Phuket has joined the ITB tourism trade fair.

“Each year the number of participating operators, including both hotels and spas, increases.

“In future events, we expect more marina and golf operators to join to add more diversity to our offerings,” he said.

He added that officials are also thinking about setting up booths to promote all the Andaman seaboard provinces (Ranong, Phang Nga, Krabi, Trang, Satun).

“Each of these provinces has unique offerings and promoting them will increase selling potential and overall interest,” he said.

“A lot of tour agents and tourists showed interest in Phuket’s booth at ITB this year, which marks increased tourist confidence in traveling to Phuket,” he said.

Planned upcoming Phuket roadshows will shift the focus back to Asian markets with a campaign planned in Malaysia and Singapore in May, and one in Japan in July.

The roadshows are supported by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization.

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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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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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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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