Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

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 did anything to protect anyone’s […]

more…

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…

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…

2 Jan, 2022

Reality Check: The Future of Tourism in a Dangerously Imbalanced World

Everyone says they want to learn from past mistakes, but how is that possible without first acknowledging those mistakes? If travel & tourism wants to vaccinate itself from the next crisis, it will have to rebalance its agenda, democratise its discussion platforms, re-set its own mindset, speak truth to power more…

27 Dec, 2021

Loss of Balance – The Biggest Failure of Global Tourism

The concept of balance will drive the post-Covid tourism development agenda. However, there is growing evidence that the chasms of imbalance are widening still further. Past mistakes are again being repeated. Tourism has a chance to make a fresh start from a nearly clean slate. A well-balanced recovery should be more…

19 Dec, 2021

A SWOT analysis of Visit Thailand Year 2022

The entire operating environment of Visit Thailand Year 2022 is totally different from that which led to the success of Visit Thailand Year 1987. As events of the past few decades have proved, tourism is no longer in control of its destiny. It is entirely at the mercy of external more…

19 Dec, 2021

2022: 11 Historic Anniversaries raise Soul-Searching Questions about the Future of Tourism

In 2020, when the Covid-19 crisis was still in its early days, there was a lot of bluster about how it could be converted into an opportunity to create a New Normal and Build Back Better. In 2022, as a recovery seems to be on the horizon, 11 significant anniversaries more…

5 Dec, 2021

How Thai Tourism Failed a Great King

In this video, made to commemorate the birth anniversary of His Majesty the late King Rama IX the Great, I share a few thoughts on what I consider to be the biggest mistake made by Thai tourism -- exploiting the marketing opportunities presented by the various Royal events over the more…

4 Nov, 2021

Power of History Lecture II: How Visit Thailand Year 1987 Revolutionised Global Tourism

2022 has been declared yet another "Visit Thailand Year". But how much is known today about the original Visit Thailand Year 1987, the record-breaking marketing extravaganza which raised the Thai and entire global tourism industry to a whole new level? Not much at all. As Thailand Bureau Chief for the then leading more…

26 Oct, 2021

India’s split-personality psyche exposed by a cricket match in Dubai

If the Indian tourism industry is pondering the country's future brand image and reputation, it need look no further than the aftermath of the 24 Oct cricket match with arch-rival Pakistan at the ICC T20 World Cup tournament in Dubai. The contrasting reactions are a clear reflection of India's current more…

13 Oct, 2021

As the doors reopen, will Thai tourism walk the Prime Minister’s talk?

Bangkok - In his speech to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) annual summit on 25 September 2021, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said, "I believe that the crises and challenges we face today have presented us with an opportunity to learn from past lessons, to reorient our approach and to better more…

8 Oct, 2021

Will Travel & Tourism take the whistleblower claims against Facebook seriously, or ignore them?

The widely-publicised revelations by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen create an opportunity to rethink and reset relations between the techno-oligarchs and the Travel & Tourism sector, and also rectify the long-standing, grossly imbalanced content of Travel Tech forums. Facebook along with its first cousins Google, Amazon, TripAdvisor, AirBnB and other techno-oligarchs have more…

30 Sep, 2021

Veteran Malaysian tour guide proves high-touch can beat high-tech in post-Covid era

The tour guide is one of the many travel industry professions threatened by the high-tech revolution. But one award-winning Malaysian guide of Punjabi-Sikh ethnic origin who speaks English, Malay, Hindi and Tamil can prove that high-touch delivers in ways high-tech never can. Upskilling herself with a high-touch Muslim-Friendly Tour Guide more…

28 Sep, 2021

Israel makes clear plan to wipe Palestine off the map; Travel & Tourism sure to face the consequences

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett gave what I consider to be the most dangerous speech of all those delivered at the 76th UN General Assembly, which ended on 27 September. He made it clear, without saying a word about the topic, that Israel will stay the course of wiping Palestine more…

22 Sep, 2021

R.I.P. Mrs Chitdee Rangvara, one of Thailand’s top tourism PR professionals in the 1980s

Bangkok - Mrs Chitdee Rangvara, one of Thailand's leading tourism communications professionals of the 1970s/80s, passed away on 21 Sept 2021, aged 93. She had been suffering from senility related to old age. (Correction: The earlier version of this post said she was suffering from Alzheimers). She was primarily responsible for more…

13 Sep, 2021

9/11 memorials expose the superficial, imbalanced reactions of Travel & Tourism

Last week, the world united in observing the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, widely described as "The Day That Changed the World". Because commercial aircraft were used as live missiles in the horrific attacks, the Transportation, Travel & Tourism sectors were the first to face the resulting geopolitical and more…

10 Sep, 2021

R.I.P. Lakshman Ratnapala: The man who put “Asia” into the Pacific Asia Travel Association

Lakshman Ratnapala, 82, the first Asian President and CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, passed away on 08 Sept 2021 after a brief illness related to Parkinson's Disease. He is survived by his wife Barbara. The couple had no children. Born Nihal Lakshman in the Sri Lankan village of Veyangoda, more…

2 Sep, 2021

The Future of Travel & Tourism Leadership

Bangkok - September is the most important month for Travel & Tourism. It commemorates both the International Day of Peace (21 Sept) and the International Day of Tourism (27 Sept). This Sept 2021 will be extra significant because of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the geopolitical failure of America’s longest more…

9 Aug, 2021

Phuket is facing the wrath of Karma

BANGKOK - The cause-and-effect laws of Karma are fundamental to Buddhism and many other Asian ways of life. As you sow, so shall you reap, perhaps not immediately but many years later or even in the next life. Today, they are being proved right, big time. When the rampant "development" of Phuket more…