Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Proposals to revive travel

Tour operators, hotels and airlines are banding together to offer discounts of 30-50% on their products in an effort to lure back tourists for the high season.

The offers are a response to the impact of the airport closure on the sector.

Some of the discounts would be available all the way through October next year, said Wansadet Thavaornsuk, deputy governor for domestic marketing at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

The TAT will stage a tourism trade fair on Dec 21 and 22 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok, aiming to stimulate domestic travel in the short term. About 200 tour operators, airlines and hotels will participate in the fair.

According to Mr Wansadet, 500 members of Thai Hotels Association nationwide are ready to offer two room nights for the price of one.

As well, Bangkok Airways will offer round-trip air tickets at only 3,800 baht for its Bangkok-Chiang Mai and Bangkok-Phuket flights until March. Its normal fares are 6,000 baht.

Maiyarat Pheerayakoses, the president of the Association of Domestic Travel, said hotel operators in Samui and Krabi would offer 5,000-baht rooms at 3,000 baht per night, and 3,000-baht rooms at 1,000 to 1,200 baht per night.

She said that another tourism trade event would be held from Feb 26 to March 1 to stimulate travel in the low season and TAT provincial offices were asked to stage more activities.

The TAT estimated that the airport blockades would end up inflicting 130 billion baht in revenue losses on the tourist industry, as they took place at the start of the five-month high season. Ms Maiyarat said the battered tourism industry was expected to take up to two years to make a full recovery

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