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Tourism Authority of Thailand

Andaman region in Thailand is safe and ready to receive visitors

With the tsumami early warning system now in place and the Cabinet`s approval of the 1,500 million baht marketing budget, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is expecting that…

With the tsumami early warning system now in place and the Cabinet`s approval of the 1,500 million baht marketing budget, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is expecting that visitor arrivals will soon begin to show a turnaround. Mrs. Juthamas Siriwan, TAT Governor said that TAT is working hard to ensure maximum publicity of the special promotional campaigns to revive tourism to Phuket, especially the tsunami-affected beaches of Patong, Kata and Karon.

We are expecting business to return to normal in the upcoming high season that begins this October, she said. Most of the Andaman region is safe and ready to receive visitors. Restaurants, tour operators, hotels and resorts are back in business.

There are strong indications that domestic Thai visitors as well as those from Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia are recovering strongly, helping to raise average occupancies in local hotels to 60-70 %. She said that reports from all the public and private sector quarters indicated that the last quarter of this year would see hotel occupancies touch at least 70-80%.

In cooperation with THAI Airways International, the private sector and other airlines operating to Thailand, TAT has mounted a series of marketing and publicity campaigns designed to show that the main destinations of Southern Thailand have fully recovered.

Thai Airways International has launched a series of special promotional campaigns that are running from July through October for Phuket, Krabi and Trang. Prices for the special packages start at only 4,000 baht per person.

From January-June 2005, there were 85 charter flights from Europe and Asia to Phuket, generating a total of 17,138 passengers. These included Sweden (48), Finland (29), Austria (3), Australia (2), Malaysia (1), Singapore (1) and Hong Kong (1).

Austrian Airlines has also informed the Thai Aviation Department of its intention to fly Vienna – Phuket once a week as of November and rising to twice weekly as of December.

A number of other airlines which had stopped flying to Phuket after the tsunami, such as China Airlines from Taipei, Dragonair from Hong Kong, Orient Thai from Seoul and Qantas charters from Sydney are due to resume operations soon.

Thomas Cook AG, a major global tour operator, reaffirmed the company`s plan to charter direct flights from Europe to Phuket three times weekly. To be launched this November, the flights are expected to bring in around 45,000 visitors.

Mrs. Juthamas said special events are being created to attract visitors, including the New Look Andaman Festival in November – December 2005. A Tsunami Memorial Day will also be commemmorated on December 26, 2005, in Phuket to remember the victims of the tsunami. She said that with safety becoming the paramount issue worldwide, the Royal Thai Government has rapidly completed the first phase of the establishment of an early warning system in Phuket.

This involves a vast network of media communication links, radio and television, even SMS text message facilities and watchtowers, that will provide rapid information to visitors in the event of a future tsunami.

The National Disaster Warning Centre was officially opened on May 30, 2005. The centre will be able to identify where undersea earthquakes occur and determine the possibility of a tsunami as well as where and when it would hit.

Training programmes and awareness campaigns are being carried out to help educate the local people, tourism industry personnel, students and tourists themselves about what to do in case a tsunami strikes again.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Articles

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.