PATA Chapter calls for a strong industry leader

BANGKOK, 18 November 2020: PATA Thailand Chapter executive committee is pressing the Tourism Council of Thailand to appoint a president who can lead the country’s travel industry on a path to recovery during the post-Covid-19 era.

TCT is set to elect a new president this December to head what is supposed to be the lead organisation for the country’s tourism players in the private and public sectors, but over the years it has often fallen short of expectations.

Initially, the government viewed the TCT as the preferred agency for a dialogue an anchor point for the tourism industry’s glut of associations to interact with the administration. On the domestic front, it gained a measure of success. However, critics claim it drops the ball when it comes to reaching out on the international stage. Sadly it is not recognised as the authoritative voice of the country’s vast and diverse tourism industry beyond Thailand’s borders. This has become even more apparent during the Covid-19 crisis when a single authoritative voice of clarity has often gone missing leaving travellers and overseas tour operators confused. TCT has not lived up to charter objectives or shown it is indeed an industry champion or a powerful force to lobby government agencies and ministries.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association’s Thailand Chapter wants a stronger president who can champion the industry and focus on a “regenerative tourism strategy.”

On Tuesday the PATA Thailand chapter’s executive committee issued a statement, requesting that “during such a critical transition of the industry the soon-to-be elected president of Tourism Council should be a strong industry champion who could lead the way not only to survive the difficult times but also to reset our industry for ‘better’ tourism.”

In the statement, the PATA Thailand Chapter called for the new TCT president to adopt four key fundamental strategic positions in order to truly represent an industry’s voice for sustainable tourism development in Thailand.

No to vested interests

“We will fully support a president who understands the complexity of the tourism eco-system; therefore, the president and the TCT board should uphold the principles of being inclusive and embrace diversity. Vested interests of any parties should be eradicated.

Actionable plan

We will support a president who believes in shared values. He should make informed decisions and have a solid, actionable plan to conduct a positive dialogue with public sectors, particularly to gear government’s decision to formulate proactive regenerative tourism plan for the benefits of tourism stakeholders.

Reset tourism goals

Together we will reset the finishing line and tourism goals, strongly refocus in order for tourism to drive economic, social and environmental changes, not just tourism for tourism sake”, investing more on young generation empowerment to co-innovate our industry and genuinely put the climate risks and adaptation plan for tourism into its core agenda.

Tourism plus branding

The TCT president must brand Thailand as a responsible tourism destination. We will support initiatives and innovation that consider “Tourism PLUS – reach-out more to other sectors”, particularly agriculture to promote gastronomy experiences, creative industries (local arts and craftsmanship) and technology to promote an advanced tourism marketing platform.