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24 Jun, 2020

REality Check: FCCT event will help Thai tourism prepare for the next potential crisis

Bangkok – The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand will organise a livestream panel discussion on “Thai History and Nationhood since 1932”. It will be broadcast via the FCCT’s Facebook page with English translation at 7 pm tonight.

A line-up of eminent scholars, social activists and political scientists will discuss the upheavals and turbulence that have shaped the Thai identity since June 24, 1932, the day of the first bloodless coup which led to promulgation of the Thailand’s first constitution.

Click on the image to access the FCCT’s Facebook page.

The panel discussion should be watched by everyone with an interest in the future of Thai Travel & Tourism, both within Thailand and abroad. While the industry is exulting over the national success in curbing the Covid-19 pandemic from a medical perspective, it is avoiding all discussion of Thailand’s underlying political instability, the cause of numerous military coups over the years.

Depending on their intensity and longevity, each of those coups have impacted Travel & Tourism in some shape or form. This, of course, is not an issue that Travel & Tourism “futurists, visionaries and thought-leaders” want to talk about. Avoiding REality checks is built into the DNA of the resilience-and-recovery tourism orchestra — until the next crisis strikes.

This panel will help all those with a stake in the future of Thai Travel & Tourism prepare for the next potential crisis and factor it into the decision-making process of what their respective companies and institutions should do next.

Such REality-check events highlight the role of independent journalism in providing realistic and comprehensive situation assessments. Travel & tourism marketeers need to seriously consider supporting such forums and their organisers in the interests of promoting critical thinking, debate and discussion so sorely lacking in mainstream industry discourse.

Bloggers and influencers do not provide such a service. Only true journalists do.

Here are the details of the event, as circulated by the FCCT.

Thai nationalism has gone through significant transformations since the bloodless coup on June 24, 1932 which led to promulgation of the Thailand’s first constitution. Revolving around the three pillars of “nation, religion and king,” the society’s sense of nationhood played an important role as a bulwark against the spread of Communism during the Cold War. In subsequent years, it has continued to assert huge influence over the country’s politics and democracy.

More recently, debate across the political spectrum has focused on public symbols and monuments of that era, and has raised questions about the dialogue between past and present in Thai society.

How do the Thai people relate to their historical identity since the political changes initiated after 1932, and what are the legacies from that period, 88 years on?


Chris Baker, historian and co-author of “A History of Thailand”

Kullada Kesboonchoo-Mead, political scientist and author of “The Rise and Decline of Thai Absolutism”

Sulak Sivaraksa, Social critic and scholar

Nuttaa Mahattana, political activist

Interpreter: Pia Hathai Techakitteranun, FCCT board member

Moderator: Panu Wongcha-Um, Senior Correspondent, Reuters