UNWTO and PATA Show Support For Thailand's Tourism Initiatives
While the tourism industry in Thailand, an extremely important part of the Thai economy, suffered losses following the recent turmoil in Bangkok, tourism in Thailand has received a boost from the World Tourism Agency (UNWTO) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). UNWTO and PATA have expressed support for government action taken in Thailand to support its tourism industry. The Thai government has given support to small business owners and entrepreneurs in its tourism sector who suffered losses during the political unrest. At the same time, the Thai government has attempted to entice travelers by offering tourist visa fee exemptions and discounts on parking and landing fees.
PATA and the UNWTO held a special meeting at which they expressed support for Thailand’s tourism activities. They also expressed interest in assisting in Thailand’s recovery. Taleb Rifai, the Secretary-General of the UNWTO, spoke at the event, confirming that the UNTWO supports Thailand’s tourism activities. He stated that strategies and experience gained from the UNWTO Tourism Resilience committee and previous actions taken by member states in similar situations will be shared with Thailand, hoping that they will be able to render Thailand’s tourism industry the assistance it needs to recover.
Gregory Duffell, the CEO of PATA, attended and spoke at the event. He spoke on the history of tourism in Thailand, and its importance for Thailand’s GDP and its job market. He expressed hope that through the collaboration of Thailand’s government, the international tourism community, and the public and private sectors, Thailand would be able stabilize its tourism industry and maintain its position as a major tourist destination.
Duffell’s claims are supported by Thailand’s history. After suffering similar setbacks, such as the closure of the Suvarnabhumi airport in 2008, the tsunami in 2004, and the SARS pandemic in 2003, Thailand has shown its resiliency, recovering from each event with gains to show. PATA and the UNWTO expressed confidence, that with such a history, the support of Thailand’s government, and the support of the Thai people, that following the recent unrest, Thailand’s government will recover from this event just as it has recovered from similar events in the past.