The Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), a public organization set up to promote the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibition Business to Thailand, would like to extend its sincere and deepest condolences…
The Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), a public organization set up to promote the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibition Business to Thailand, would like to extend its sincere and deepest condolences to all those who tragically lost their loved ones as a result of the tsunami catastrophe on Sunday 26th December, 2004. We would also like to extend our heartfelt sympathies to those who were wounded or injured or otherwise lost properties and possessions.
In keeping with their deep heritage, the Thai people and Royal Thai government have done, and are continuing to do, everything possible to relieve the suffering of the survivors and all those affected by tragedy.
Although the Tsunami incident has greatly affected the tourism business in the six southern provinces located on the coast of the Andaman, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has reaffirmed that the incident has damaged less than 20% of natural landscape. Almost all of the current tourist spots, such as the beaches at Mai Khao and Nai Yang in Phuket and the town of Phuket itself, can still accommodate visitors. Approximately 82% of tourist accommodation units in Phuket are still open for services.
The Royal Thai government has prepared both short and long-term plans to regain the confidence of the general public and to rebuild the tourism industry. As part of the short-term strategies, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau together with the Tourism Council of Thailand and Thai Airways International have joined forces to launch the Save the Spirit of the Andaman Campaign. A number of local corporate and association decision makers will be invited to visit the island of Phuket and surrounding areas, to encourage them to convene their meetings in the area.
For the longer-term plans for the tourism industry, the government has pledged to invest in creating a new culture of organized and environmental-friendly tourism sites, residential areas, public utilities and infrastructure. It will ensure the systematic management of sustainable tourism. It will also invest in human resources development and in expanding the MICE market in the south.
Apart from the Thai government`s assistance, foreign countries are also assisting in many ways. The United States, with the recent visit by Secretary of State Colin Powell, has asked Thailand to become the center of relief operations for countries devastated by the tsunami. The U.S. will also assist in setting up an early warning system to help prevent further such catastrophes.
The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also been working with foreign embassies in providing assistance to foreigners affected by the destruction and to those in search of their family members and loved ones. Foreigners who were in the affected areas and have survived the disaster have said that they would come back to visit Thailand again as they have been impressed by the assistance and kindness shown to them by both the Thai government and the local people.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.