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22 Jan, 2023

Watershed conference flags wisdom-based cultural solutions to Climate Change crisis

Bangkok — The search for solutions to the climate change crisis is dominated by expensive and complicated technological and financial fixes. But a three-day conference organised by the Southeast Asia Cultural Heritage Alliance (SEACHA) jointly with Thailand’s pre-eminent natural history and heritage institution, the Siam Society, cited the region’s centuries-old cultural and spiritual wisdoms as […]

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1 Feb, 2022

35 Years On: How Visit Thailand Year 1987 Revolutionised Global Tourism

The year 2022 marks the 35th anniversary of Visit Thailand Year 1987, the record-breaking marketing extravaganza which revolutionised the Thai and global tourism industry. What lessons can be learned from its successes and failures? How can it help design a new post-pandemic model for global tourism? As Thailand Bureau Chief for the more…

2 Oct, 2021

Inaugural Global Lecture: “25 Women Who Put Thai Tourism on the Global Map”

As Thailand is reopening to tourism, a look back may help us look ahead more clearly. I am proud to be the first to launch this "Power of History" lecture series. All will be FREE but BY INVITATION more…

1 Jul, 2021

Inaugural “Power of History” Lecture: The Rise and Fall of PATA

Click here to register Click here to register The same lecture can be given privately at a more convenient time for those interested. For further inquiries and info, please email: more…

10 Jan, 2020

Unmatched Lectures on Thailand: The Greatest Story in Global Tourism HiSTORY

Bangkok - This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thai Airways International, the two founding pillars of what is now the kingdom's largest service economy sector and job-creator. This meteoric rise did not happen by chance. It was the result of a broad range more…

15 Nov, 2019

How 1987 Visit Thailand Year Revolutionised Global Travel & Tourism

One of the world's greatest tourism marketing extravaganzas, 1987 Visit Thailand Year changed the face of global Travel & Tourism. While establishing Thailand's marketing genius, it also exposed the kingdom's management deficiencies. Today, as the country prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thai more…

18 Mar, 2019

June 14, 2019: First Forum on The Greatest Story in Global Tourism HiSTORY

Bangkok – At 0900 hrs on March 18, exactly 59 years ago, what was then known as the Tourist Organisation of Thailand opened for business. Its duty, in the words of Gen Chalermchai Charuvastr, its first Director-General, was to promote visitor arrivals by "creating a wholesome image" of the Thai more…

11 Apr, 2018

FREE DOWNLOAD: The Next Big Thing – Thailand Outbound Travel Report 2018

Bangkok -- Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil has made travel journalism history yet again by publishing the first report on the surging Thai outbound travel industry. The report is being made available FREE, thanks to support from Minister of Tourism and Sports Weerasak Kowsurat and Tourism Authority of Thailand more…

17 Jul, 2017

FREE DOWNLOAD: The Olive Tree – How Travel & Tourism can Contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Olive Tree is the first and only publication designed to help Travel & Tourism become a more committed part of the solution in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Free download. Click on any of the images below. ++++++++++ The Olive Tree Edition 20, July-August 2020 [caption id="attachment_60510" align="aligncenter" width="432"] Click on more…

1 Dec, 2016

Call for Entries: The First ASEAN Travel & Tourism Hall of Fame

By Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire Bangkok – Today marks the launch of the ASEAN Travel & Tourism Hall of Fame (ATTHoF), the first global website to honour the achievements of the many industry veterans and stalwarts who elevated this robust and dynamic industry to its present heights. Click here more…

12 Dec, 2022

Celebrity designer Jimmy Choo officiates at Malaysian segment of Thai Silk Fashion Expo

Bangkok - Celebrity Malaysian fashion designer Datuk Jimmy Choo was a Guest of Honour at the Malaysian segment of the Thai Silk International Fashion Week held at the Siam Paragon Hall in Bangkok between December 7-11, 2022 International fashion designers from more than 60 nations participated in the 25 shows held more…

9 Dec, 2022

How a Pattaya transgender show promotes unity, diversity and humanity

Pattaya, Thailand -- Transgender shows are must-visit attractions in the Thai beach resort of Pattaya. Decked in glittering costumes, the heavily made-up performers lip-sync their way through a repertoire of popular songs. It may come across as superficial, dumbed-down entertainment, but one transgender show has elevated the content with a more…

29 Nov, 2022

What do APEC summits really achieve?

Enormous amounts of time, effort and money go into hosting summits such as the APEC 2022. They always end with rah-rah statements hailing their success. But are they really a "success"? How does one define, evaluate and rate "success"? Is there room for an objective debate? One way of analysing the more…

23 Nov, 2022

Discovering the APEC 2022 theme “Open Connect Balance” in Northeast Thailand

Bangkok - Hundreds of journalists from Thailand and around the world covered the APEC summit in Bangkok between 18-19 November. Not me. Having reported on dozens of such summits over my 50 years in journalism, I no longer see the need to tolerate onerous security requirements or waste time listening more…

17 Nov, 2022

A soul-searching tour to keep Thailand safe from “The Other Global Warming”

Bangkok - On 29 Oct 2022, I took a group of civil society tourism activists on an Alliance of Civilisations tour of the Bangkok riverside. These iconic sites -- an historic temple, church and mosque in one neighbourhood cluster -- represent the real competitive advantage of Thai tourism, viz., a more…

6 Nov, 2022

Israeli elections outcome makes a Clash of Civilisations a near certainty

The return of Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister of Israel is set to intensify the Clash of Civilisations (which I have labelled "The Other Global Warming") and worsen the threats to global security and stability. That Travel & Tourism will eventually feel the heat is a foregone conclusion. In more…

3 Nov, 2022

How to find and retain staff post-Covid? Try compassion, empathy and fairness

Bangkok: Sukamal Mondal is one of a rising generation of Indian-born management executives in global Travel & Tourism. Since moving from China to Thailand in 2012, the Mandarin-speaking hotelier has risen to Area General Manager of eight properties of the Onyx Hospitality Group, owned by the Thai business conglomerate Italthai. more…

24 Oct, 2022

PATA Summit topics all “Old Hat”, says industry veteran

When the Covid-19 crisis began in 2020 and hit its peak in 2021, the global travel & tourism industry saw some glimmer of hope that it would soon come to an end. Recovery and resilience campaigns emerged on the drawing boards, with three mantras dominating the discourse: 1) Build Back more…

29 Sep, 2022

“Rethinking Tourism” on the agenda at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand

Bangkok -- I enjoyed a refreshing and stimulating World Tourism Day discussion on "Rethinking Tourism" at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, the oldest, largest and most active foreign media club in Southeast Asia. Here are some of the core takeaways from the Sept 28 panel discussion: 1. Senator Weerasak Kowsurat, more…

29 Aug, 2022

Now in Thailand: Asia’s first Alliance of Civilisations visitor experience

Bangkok - More by chance than design, Thailand has created Asia’s first Alliance of Civilisations visitor experience. Initiated by the Thai Foreign Ministry, primarily to serve a diplomatic purpose, the “Community of Three Religions” offers a perfect base for designing a global community-based Travel & Tourism model in the post-Covid more…

19 Aug, 2022

“13 Lives” Thai actor hopes film delivers a Greater Good for Thailand and the world

Bangkok - The hugely positive global reaction to the movie "13 Lives" will be a marketing bonanza for Thai travel & tourism but one of its lead Thai actors says he truly hopes it will go beyond that and deliver a greater good for Thai society and humanity at large. In more…

15 Aug, 2022

India at 75: At the Epicentre of a Clash of Civilisations

India marked the 75th  anniversary of its independence on Aug 15 with widespread soul-searching about its past, present and future. The country is now the epicentre of the Clash of Civilisations, openly pursuing a “Muslim-mukt” (Muslim-free) agenda that will take at least a few decades to succeed. The path ahead more…

9 Aug, 2022

Sixteen thought-prompting takeaways from “Thirteen Lives”

Released worldwide last week, “Thirteen Lives” is much more than just a movie. In a world obsessed with story-telling, it is a Grand Story of the first order. Like all stories of heroism, it can be viewed, enjoyed and forgotten, or it can be studied as a work of art more…

8 Aug, 2022

The Travel Industry Journalists Who Took a Stand Against War, and Made History

In January 2003, a group of 44 journalists made history by co-signing the first anti-war statement ever issued by the Travel & Tourism industry. Released at the first ASEAN Tourism Forum held in Cambodia, the journalists’ petition was a follow-up to an official anti-war statement released also for the first more…

14 Jul, 2022

Sri Lankan turmoil shows it failed to learn the lessons of a 26-year civil war

Watching the turmoil in Sri Lanka these days reminded me of a UNWTO conference on "Tourism: A Catalyst for Development, Peace and Reconciliation" held in the northern Sri Lanka township of Passikudah in July 2016. It was organised by the Sri Lankan tourism authorities with the support of the then UNWTO more…

11 Jul, 2022

Thai-Saudi travel set to boom after red-carpet treatment for Riyadh business delegation

Bangkok -- A team of more than 100 high-level delegates from Saudi Arabia visited Thailand between 3-7 July 2022 as part of the roadmap set by the two countries following the historic diplomatic patch-up in January 2022. The group consisted of 57 corporate executives plus senior representatives of the Saudi more…

20 Jun, 2022

How the new Thai privacy protection law will hurt tourism marketing, networking and MICE events

Phuket – The Thailand Travel Mart Plus held in Phuket between 8-10 June 2022 was the first local travel trade show since the enforcement of the Personal Data Protection Act. That led to some immediate and multiple changes in the way information about the participants was displayed. Whether the law more…

16 Jun, 2022

Back to the Future: The Most Important Thai Tourism Crisis Recovery Meeting Ever Held

Many meetings are being held these days to plan for a post-Covid tourism REcovery… Most are just REhashing and REcycling old ideas and solutions. None come even close to matching the intellectual firepower and recommendations of arguably the most important crisis recovery meeting ever held in Thai tourism history. Please click more…

14 Jun, 2022

Successful Thailand Travel Mart in Phuket gives impetus to rebounding visitor arrivals

Phuket -- Thailand's rebounding tourism industry is set to gather steam following a successful Thailand Travel Mart Plus in Phuket between 8-10 June 2022. A total of 277 buyers from 42 countries and 62 international media got a first hand look at the leading Thai resort island's range of products more…

3 Jun, 2022

Will PATA’s new hybrid chairman raise a Voice for the Voiceless?

Bangkok - If hybrid meetings, cars and work-places are now the "in" thing, why not hybrid leaders? In the post-Covid era, the new chairman of PATA could well be the first of that generation. Peter Semone was elected to lead this once formidable travel institution in the midst of a perfect more…

17 May, 2022

A Prominent Thai Buddhist monk’s alternative path to Reopening, Recovery, Resilience

Bangkok - One of Thailand's prominent Buddhist monks has flipped all the conventional textbook theories of crisis management with a heart-warming personal perspective on the prevailing "Reopening, Recovery, Resilience" agenda. The simple but profound wisdom shared by the Venerable Phra Anil Sakya, the Rector of Mahamakut Buddhist University, won him more…

14 May, 2022

134-member Thai team off to Saudi Arabia to spur ties across multiple sectors

Bangkok - A mammoth delegation of 134 Thai public and private sector representatives is to depart for Saudi Arabia on 15 May for four days of intensive, multi-sectoral meetings that will give a huge fillip to relations between the world's two most populous Buddhist and Islamic kingdoms. The delegation will be more…

7 Apr, 2022

Health and Wellness: 30 Daily Reasons why Ramadan is Better than Yoga

As interest in Health and Wellness is surging globally in the wake of the Covid-19 catastrophe, I have prepared a series of daily posts to promote the vast physical, mental, spiritual, social, economic and environmental benefits of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. These benefits of the world's largest joint more…

16 Feb, 2022

An Honest and Constructive Critique of the Visit Thailand Year 2022 Strategic Plan

This special report focusses on the strategic plan to reboot Thai tourism with a Visit Thailand Year 2022 campaign. It takes a critical thinking approach but in an honest and constructive context. Click on the image to more…

28 Jan, 2022

Thai Saudi Relations Take a New Turn – A Ray of Light in a World of Darkness

This special report focuses on the diplomatic rapprochement between Thailand and Saudi Arabia, the background to and impact of the 32-year conflict, and the huge benefits now set to accrue for the peoples of both countries and the regions and the world at large. Click on the image to access more…

23 Jan, 2022

To Tax or Not To Tax: The Dilemma Facing Thai Tourism

Thai Government revenues have fallen precipitously as a result of the pandemic, and so have tourism budgets. Paying for medical emergencies as well as the consequences of Acts of God and self-inflicted crises is no longer possible. A 300 baht tourist tax is in the works. The idea is proving more…

14 Jan, 2022

Crossing the Rubicon: Door Opens for Travel & Tourism to Take a Stand on Political Issues

A cursory look at the numerous crisis which have hit global tourism in the past three decades will show that they can be divided into two – man-made crises such as wars, terrorism, economic disasters, local conflicts, and Acts of God such as pandemics, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes… Fitting somewhere in more…

9 Jan, 2022

Time for Brand name Travel & Tourism CEOs to Change Their Tune? Part 1

This current generation of CEOs is inheriting a bigger mess than ever. They claim to see opportunities, but I don’t see too many of them talking about the hazards, risks and threats of the chaos which prevails today. Have they learned the lessons of history? After inheriting the mess created more…