Sequel to thanks, but no thanks
Another travel company based in Bangkok, Circle of Asia, confirmed it had turned down an offer to buy a Euro 2,600 travel award.
Spanish-based BID group canvasses travel companies, worldwide, offering them awards that are usually presented at a lavish dinner at a venue in Europe.
The accolades come with a price tag. A payment of Euro 2,600 gives the recipient the award rights for two years. In addition to the award and the accompanying promotional material, the lucky companies are hosted at a gala dinner in a European city and given a night’s accommodation at a hotel. This year’s awards will be hosted at the InterContinental in Geneva, Switzerland, 26 October.
An earlier TTR Weekly report focused on CBS Travel Asia’s decision to go public and question the European-based group’s business tactics.
Circle of Asia’s marketing and key account manager, Raymond Muller, in an email to the editor said: “I was really glad that I got to read your report and Mr Chaladol’s comments as we received the same official letter from BID from its CEO, Jose Prieto.”
He attached a copy of the award confirmation, which was identical in content to the one received by CBS Travel Asia, earlier in the month.
Both companies declined the offer to travel to Geneva to receive the awards. It would have cost them an estimated Euro 3,700 to attend, after airfares, hotels and travel expenses were included.
BID, based in Madrid, claims it has a network of 26 publications and newspapers that support and publicise the awards. Publicity is the main carrot that appeals to companies that rely on the European market to drive their package tour business.
However, CBS Travel Asia’s managing director, Chaladol Ussamarn, took it to the next level, when he wrote to BID’s CEO asking if the organiser could mail the award, or have it presented to him by an official at the Spanish embassy, here in Bangkok. BID is registered in Spain, while the Spanish embassy in Bangkok is a strong supporter of two-way tourism.
BID did confirm to CBS Travel Asia its willingness to “courier” the award and reminded Mr Chaladol he would still need to pay the Euro 2,600 fee.
BID awarded CBS Travel Asia the International Star Award for Quality ISAQ in the Gold category claiming it based the decision on a voting process carried out among all the participating former awardees. It added that the exact voting process was secret.
BID also noted that the “graphic material obtained by photo journalists and through the presentations of quality models and company profiles of those companies choosing that option, will be made available for press and media publication and can be featured in one of the 26 publications associated with the International Star Award for Quality ISAQ.”
BID’s CEO advised Mr Chaladol that he coul receive the award by courier, but the “fee for this option is Euro 2,600, which covers the rights for reproduction of the symbol and all of the award material.”
“This consists of the trophy itself, a diploma certifying the award, a set of logos for use in advertising and the QC•100 Points TQM (Total Quality Management). It also includes transportation costs by courier.
“You may send a banker’s check by courier, payable to Business Initiative Directions, to our address in Madrid. If you prefer a bank transfer, we can send you full bank information. Upon receipt, we will arrange to send you the material,” wrote Mr Prieto.