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The Bluebird perspectives: Does Abhisit have to restore the Thai images? Print E-mail

Written by Bluebird
Cardiff, Wales
Christmas Eve, 2008

?? I know that for the past, two or three years, the pictures and the images that you see of Thailand have not been positive but I also know that there are people around the world who know Thailand better. As friends, as partners, as visitors, I?m sure they recall Thailand as the land of smiles, land of opportunity, and land of the free. It?s my every intention to restore the picture of Thailnd as friends all of the world use to know ??

The above message is the first speech of the new prime minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajeva, to the world via the press conference. He claimed that the pictures/images of Thailand from the world aspect are the land of smile, opportunity, and free. I personally agree with him that Thailnd is the land of smile (or friendliness) and opportunity (to do business). Thailand has been recognised as the land of smile, friendly hospitality, and nice people for and also supported by many research (one was conducted by the Social Research Institute of Chiang Mai University). On the other hand, I am unsure about the image of the free land. However, in this article, I would like to discuss the image of Thailand of smile that the new PM urged to restore.

When I firstly heard the first speech, there is a question suddenly came into me, whether we need to restore these images. As I had some discussion with British friends on the image of Thailand, they still percieve Thailand as the land of smile, culture, and fancy beach. Therefore, even there are only some perspectives, it seems that the land of smile is still the dominant image of Thailand. On the other hand, political instability of Thailand in last couple years likely affects the confidence of the tourists who are about to travel to Thailand, especially on the tourism logistics facet. The closure of the airport is considered as the risk of the trip in term of delay and waiting (in logistics also recognised as wastes that need to be eliminated).  

In his speech, he also mentioned the most concern of tourists and visitors on the closure of the airport that definitely had a massive impact on the tourism industry. Yes, this is vital and critical point of the Thai tourism situation. Hence, the priority policy for Thai tourism may not about the land of smile, opportunity, or even land of the free but the confidence of tourists and tour agencies. The speech also includes the promise about the airport closure, as ?it?ll never happen again?. Consequencely, he urged to have the ASEAN summit in January 2008 resuming the Thai image by the world. Therefore, it seems that the PM jobs for the tourism industry is not resume the imageas the land of smile but the tourists? confidence. In logistics, the consumers, tourists in this case, are the most important factor that cannot be misunderstood. Therefore, it is very critical to have a comprehension of what tourists really want.

My concerns sincerely go the PM according to his toutism policy especially the direction of the tourism policy under his administration. Research-based policy should be implemented since there are so many existing researches about Thai tourism. Hope the Oxford-alumni PM success in his tourism policy as well as others missions. 

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