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Thailand Travel Agents Association fears foreign dominance

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  • Thailand Travel Agents Association fears foreign dominance

    Tourism is a vital sector for Thailand and represents about 7% of its GDP, a business that rely on millions of families throughout the nation. The country belongs to the ASEAN community and is set to take shape in 2015. Association of Thai Travel Agents declared that the country's travel industry will face massive challenges to cope with the ASEAN single market place. They warned that foreign companies’ dominance in tourism would make serious inroads in the industry that could be unfavorable to Thai workers.

    Thai Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra added later that her government has targeted generating tourism industry revenues of $45 Billion within the next five years. Thai Travel Agents Association worries about the new rules set by the ASEAN community such as the fact that foreigners can hold a 70% shares in an ASEAN company and this would affect Thai private travel companies that are majority owned by Thais. They urge the government to protect the country’s interests.

    The association said safeguards should be established to limit foreign dominance in this sector and limit their presence. They want authorities to prohibit ASEAN and foreign nationals from investing or establishing offices in key tourism destinations that are already well covered such as: Bangkok, Pattaya, Samui, Phuket, and Chiang Mai.

    "Tourism sector faces tough challenges. Some say Entrepreneurs will import foreign skilled workers, while Thai staff will need to compete to stay employed. However, those changes could also lead to an improvement in skills in the long term.”

  • #2
    This is another example of Thai fearing competition, They know they cannot compete in the area of English nor can they compete in the service department. Thais do not have a service mind or competent English skills to compete with other ASEAN members. They know full well they are substandard and are now going to whine about rather than get on the stick and correct the issues. Thailand likes to brag on themselves showing pics of pristine beaches, touting the great customer service in the world and of course that Thai smile they always talk about. The only thing they have going for them is the Thai smile and most of the time it is insincere. They do not get it that the customer is always right and never apologize or give a discount if service falls below standard. They just look at tourists as one it wonders and figure they are only here for one go around, so no need to try do it first class. Instead they squeeze the one time visitor for everything they can get and attempt to give as little as they can. Even if they have to lie, cheat and steal to do it.