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20 Oct, 2003

Thailand, Vietnam Top Youth Travel Survey

PATTAYA — Vietnam and Thailand are rapidly becoming two of the world’s most popular countries for backpackers, a survey of young travellers has revealed. The survey showed that 75% of respondents who described themselves as backpackers had visited Thailand and 87.5% had visited Vietnam on their “last big trip”. India came in third with 66% […]

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20 Oct, 2003

Vietnam, Thailand Top Popularity Charts for Backpackers

PATTAYA — Vietnam and Thailand are rapidly becoming two of the world’s most popular countries for backpackers, a survey of young travellers has revealed. The survey showed that 75% of respondents who described themselves as backpackers had visited Thailand and 87.5% had visited Vietnam on their “last big trip”. India came in third with 66% […]

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13 Oct, 2003

Brutal Cost-Cutting To Come as Thai Airways Cracks Revenue Whip

Thai Airways International served notice last week that its suppliers and associated can expect some hard bargaining as it strives to cut costs and boost revenues in preparation for additional privatisation in 2004. Airports, global distribution systems, travel agents and oil companies are among the groups expected to be targetted as the airline moves both […]

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6 Oct, 2003

Head of World’s Newest Country Inaugurates PATA Travel Mart

SINGAPORE – The President of the world’s youngest country last week became the first head of state to inaugurate the annual travel mart of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and made a strong pitch for both visitors and investors to help him with nation building. President Xanana Gusmao of Timor Leste told the Asia-Pacific […]

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5 Oct, 2003

In UN Speeches, Leaders of Sri Lanka, Indonesia Assess the “Root Causes” of Conflict

Originally Published: 5 Oct 2003 The annual UN General Assembly session is often dismissed as a meaningless talk shop. To some extent, that is true. But the speakers are among the seniormost national leaders and, after clearing the diplomatic niceties, their statements do reflect strong views about the state of the world today. Their frustrations, […]

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29 Sep, 2003

The Twin Tragedy: Those Who Lie for the Cause, and Die for the Cause

Originally Published: 29 Sept 2003 Global conflict today can be traced back to two sources —  those who are ready to die for the cause, and those who lie for the cause. The distinction between the two is that those who are willing to die for the cause, actually die for the cause, while those […]

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22 Sep, 2003

“Crisis Management” Programmes Treat Only Symptoms, Not the Cause

The recent spate of crises buffetting the travel & tourism industry have given rise to a phenomena called “crisis management programmes.” But the industry only has to look at the examples of Sri Lanka and Nepal for proof that these programmes have very limited value unless the root causes of the problems are addressed. Last […]

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22 Sep, 2003

How Effective are “Crisis Management” Programmes

The recent spate of crises buffetting the travel & tourism industry have given rise to a phenomena called “crisis management programmes.” But the industry only has to look at the examples of Sri Lanka and Nepal for proof that these programmes have very limited value unless the root causes of the problems are addressed. Last […]

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15 Sep, 2003

France Resumes Post-SARS Marketing Campaigns in Asia

Tourism executives of the world’s top visitor-receiving country last week made a promotional comeback in Asia after a three-year break, indicating renewed interest in attracting the regional outbound market after the SARS-related slump. With 76 million arrivals a year, a mere 500,000 from all of Southeast Asia is probably nothing for France. But contemporary geopolitical […]

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15 Sep, 2003

France Resumes Asia Promotions After Three-Year Break

Tourism executives of the world’s top visitor-receiving country last week made a promotional comeback in Asia after a three-year break, indicating renewed interest in attracting the regional outbound market after the SARS-related slump. With 76 million arrivals a year, a mere 500,000 from all of Southeast Asia is probably nothing for France. But contemporary geopolitical […]

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13 Sep, 2003

Indonesia: From Feast To Near Famine

Reports from the Tourism Indonesia Mart and Expo (TIME 2003) in Jakarta, Sept 3-6, 2003
1. Indonesia: From Feast To Near Famine
2. Government Ponders Shape Of The Visa Policy
3. Look At Root Causes Of Terrorism, Says Zecha

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9 Sep, 2003

Changing The Culture Of Alcohol Misuse

The travel and tourism industry espouses many noble causes — the environment, HIV/AIDS, poverty, child-sex tourism. However, it has not yet plucked up the courage to take a serious look at the widespread problems caused by alcohol abuse.

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8 Sep, 2003

As Visa Crisis Looms, Indonesia Seek Arrivals from ASEAN Countries

JAKARTA — Facing yet another crisis in the wake of a government plan to impose visas, the Indonesian tourism industry will next month dispatch a 30-member promotion delegation to Thailand, one of the few countries that might be excluded from the visa-requirement list. The delegation is due in Bangkok on October 8 for a four-day […]

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7 Sep, 2003

NYT Journalist’s Book Questions Rationale Behind the “War on Terror”

Originally Published: 7 Sept 2003 The anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon is set to be seared in the annual calendar of memorials. As timing is everything, last week’s clockwork release of tapes recalling the panic, anguish and suffering of the victims, made sure of that. Sadly, no tapes […]

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1 Sep, 2003

Tourism Will Need More Migrant-Workers, Posing New Challenges and Problems

A low profile meeting at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific last week focussed attention on one of the most significant elements of the global travel industry: Migration patterns. The travel industry is a major beneficiary of the huge numbers of migrants, mainly job-seekers, on the move as a result […]

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28 Aug, 2003

The Role Of Migration In Travel

A low profile meeting at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok this week has focussed attention on one of the most significant elements of the global travel industry: Migration patterns.

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25 Aug, 2003

Good News For The Health-Travel Industry

Traditional medicine is making a global comeback. Spas and health centres will find this upcoming document a major blessing.

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25 Aug, 2003

Terrorism to Continue Until Arab-Israeli Problem is Solved, Says New Report

A report on the relationship between terrorism and tourism says that terrorism will never end as long as the Arab-Israeli problem remains unresolved and Israel remains in occupation of Palestine.

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18 Aug, 2003

Asian Development Bank Loans to Aid Tourism in Asia

The Asian Development Bank has extended loans that will benefit ecotourism in Nepal and the development of inter-atoll transportation in the Maldives. Next month, it will be helping to organise a ministerial meeting of the Mekong countries, with one of the issues on the agenda being the establishment of a GMS visa.

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18 Aug, 2003

Women-Only Travel on the Rise

A recent issue of the Canadian Tourism Monthly magazine reported on two growing trends: Hard Outdoor Adventure and Women-Only Travel. Yep, you heard right — Women-Only Travel.

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15 Aug, 2003

Various Paths To Peace

As both terrorism and the war on terrorism continue to exact a devastating toll on global travel & tourism, the search is on for alternative paths to peace. For those seriously interested in doing something, here is a choice.

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8 Aug, 2003

Post-SARS Recovery Is On, Say Global Distribution Systems

In this dispatch 1. Post-SARS RECOVERY IS ON, SAY GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS 2. LASTMINUTE IN BUMPER THIRD QUARTER 3. NEPAL SURGES, OFFERS FREE VISAS 4. ITALIANS VOTED WORLD’S BEST DRESSED TRAVELLERS 5. TEN PER CENT OF TREE SPECIES FACE EXTINCTION -0- 1. Post-SARS RECOVERY IS ON, SAY GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS The backbone of the Asian […]

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5 Aug, 2003

Alcohol Summit to Convene in New South Wales

The impact of alcohol consumption in the travel & tourism industry is not well-researched. It should be. In the tradition of not wanting to bite the hand that feeds it, the industry steers clearly does not want to upset its multi-million dollar sponsors and supporters.

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3 Aug, 2003

Alcohol Summit To Convene In New South Wales

Alcohol consumption is not a well-researched issues in the travel & tourism industry. However, there is no doubt of the close linkage between the two — from duty-free sales to wine tourism, this industry survives and thrives on it. It fills government tax coffers, livens up parties and, consumed in moderation, is known to have […]

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13 Jul, 2003

The Lies that Led the World to War in Iraq

Revisit the statements and speeches that were used to justify the war on Iraq and it becomes obvious that it was fought on the basis of utter fabrications, lies and deception. Worse, the leaders of the so-called “international community,” the “free world”, the “democratic countries” or whatever one wishes to call them cannot be held […]

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7 Jul, 2003

Luxury Hotels Group Sees Surge in Internet Bookings

One of the world’s most unique group of luxury hotels is reporting a sharp surge in bookings received directly over the Internet, and plans to grow those numbers further in the months ahead. The Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), whose 290 exclusive properties are frequented by the world’s rich and famous, has seen […]

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30 Jun, 2003

Oz Airlines Seek Marketing Support to Try New Asian Destinations

Australian airlines are open to talks on flying to specific Asian destinations if the destinations can build a strong case and, uhhm, put up some money.

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30 Jun, 2003

Aussies Seek Ways to Build Shield Against Future Shocks

MELBOURNE: High-level consultations are under way throughout the Australian tourism industry to finalise a medium to long term strategy designed to help grow the industry and better position it against future shocks. It is the first national review of Australian tourism since 1997 when a similar exercise was carried out for a plan to capitalise […]

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26 Jun, 2003

Aussies Report No Post-SARS Price Pressure at ATE

Some doing-business issues were expected to surface big-time during the Eastern Hemisphere section of the ATE. They didn’t, at least not to any great extent.

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23 Jun, 2003

The ATE, First Major Travel Show After SARS, Ends Strongly

Melbourne – Australia’s most important annual travel trade show, which came close to being cancelled a month ago, ended strongly last week amidst rising optimism and clear signs of a rebounding regional travel & tourism industry. The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) was the first major international travel event of the post-SARS era, billed as the […]

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16 Jun, 2003

Cambodian Minister To Resist Visa-On-Arrival Cutback

Cambodian tourism minister Veng Sereyvuth said last week he would resist any attempts by Cambodian security authorities to alter the country’s visa-on-arrival policy as a result of the recent arrests of alleged “terrorists” in his country. “That will not be good,” he said in an interview last week. “We need tourists. We are a poor […]

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15 Jun, 2003

Message To the American Empire: Unjust Rulers Always Fall — Always!!

Originally Published: 15 June 2003 The most basic premise of a judicial process is that a suspect is innocent until proven guilty. The second basic premise is that evidence has to be found and produced in court BEFORE a suspect can be prosecuted and convicted. Am I correct in asserting that, or not? No ifs […]

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6 Jun, 2003

Travel Industry Trapped In A Sickness-A-Year Syndrome

With Iraq behind us, and SARS fading, a Travel Impact Newswire essay looks at ways for the travel & tourism industry to look ahead and start treating itself the same many of its customers are demanding: holistically.

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2 Jun, 2003

Post-SARS Tourism Bunfight Starts

Over the next few weeks, Thailand’s tourism industry will be facing ferocious competition as Asian destinations mount vigorous big-budget campaigns to recoup the significant losses of the past few weeks. While 9/11 and the Iraq war hit tourism worldwide, SARS specifically struck a slew of regional destinations like Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, China […]

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30 May, 2003

Racism Fears Influence Muslim Travel Destination Choice

This dispatch of Travel Impact Newswire discusses one of the most profoundly disturbing shifts taking place in travel trends worldwide.

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26 May, 2003

Throwing Marketing Money at Crisis May Not Prove Effective, Industry Execs Say

While there is a good deal of support for the government’s move to launch multi-million baht roadshows to address the short-term need to bring back visitors this low season, there is concern that the money is being spent in a highly imbalanced way that overlooks simpler and more long-term solutions. Interviews with industry leaders indicated […]

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25 May, 2003

Saudi Arabia Opens Its Doors — Carefully

The first Saudi in space, Prince Sultan bin Salman, is to lead Saudi Arabia’s first tourism promotion drive. The conservative kingdom is going about it very, very carefully, and with good reason.

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19 May, 2003

All-Economy Airline, Gulf Traveller, Launched

DUBAI: Gulf Air, the Bahrain-based carrier owned by the governments of Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has launched the Middle East region’s first all-economy class airline, Gulf Traveller. The airline is to start flying on 1 June 2003 out of a new hub to be developed in the UAE state of Abu […]

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18 May, 2003

As “Holy Days” Became “Holidays”, Partying Replaces Praying

Originally Published: 18 May 2003 Somewhere through the passage of time, a small but significant change occurred in societies and communities that converted holy days into merely holidays. The original objective of a holy day was largely religious, a day of worship, meditation and prayer. Rest was designed to soothe the mind, nourish the spirit, […]

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12 May, 2003

Putting More Balance Into The Business

Emirates Holidays, one of the Middle East’s most prominent wholesalers, is pushing ahead with a major strategy to balance its over-exposure to the UAE and Gulf country markets as source of revenues.

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12 May, 2003

SARS Scare Dries Up Business for Thais at Arabian Travel Market

Seriously tainted by the erroneous perception of coming from a SARS-affected country, Thai hotels and tour operators found themselves in the highly unusual position of twiddling their thumbs at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) last week. The lack of buyers was made worse by a poorly-managed communications counter-campaign that saw Thailand being clearly eclipsed by […]

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28 Apr, 2003

SARS Strikes, Leading To Worst Fall in Thai Tourism History

International visitor arrivals at Bangkok airport have plunged by 41% in first three-week period of April 2003 over the same period of 2002 due to the SARS crisis, the biggest fall ever in the history of Thai tourism. Figures made available to this columnist last week showed that arrivals at Bangkok airport, the country’s major […]

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24 Apr, 2003

Are Balinese Leaders Smarter Than Indian Leaders?

Bali and India share a common historic Hindu heritage. That, unfortunately, is where the similarity ends. When it comes to tourism and preserving the peace, Indian leaders have much to learn from Balinese leaders.

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20 Apr, 2003

Orwell’s “Animal Farm” Warnings on How Totalitarianism Creeps In More Relevant Than Ever

Originally Published: 20 April 2003 No student of the history of totalitarianism can afford to ignore the monumental literary works of British author George Orwell, whose 100th birth anniversary is being commemorated this year. Well worth revisiting today are Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ (1946), a brilliant satire about the failure of communism, and ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ (1949) […]

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19 Feb, 2003

Whatever happened to “There is No Justification for Killing Innocent Civilians”?

Originally published: 19 Feb 2003 Hands up those who agree: There is no justification for killing innocent civilians. That statement resounded vigorously after 9/11 and rises in volume each time Palestinian suicide bombers strike in the streets of Israeli cities. I stress the words “no justification”, free of any ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. Now, according to […]

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6 Jan, 2003

Thai Aviation Department Rebuts Claims of Air Traffic Decline

After listening silently for more than a year to complaints about the decline in airline frequencies to Thailand, the Aviation Department has struck back, releasing figures which show exactly the opposite. In the current winter season 2002/2003, Thailand is being served by 79 foreign airlines operating a total of 670 weekly scheduled international flights, up […]

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5 Jan, 2003

2002: The Year TIME Magazine Recognised Whistle-blowers

Originally Published:  5 Jan 2003 On Sept 22, 2002, the Soul-Searching column was headlined “Let’s Hear it for the Whistle-blowers.” In it I paid tribute to the morally correct choice whistle-blowers make, at great personal risk and doubtless after a great of soul-searching, to blow the whistle on wrongdoings in their companies and institutions. I […]

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16 Dec, 2002

PB Air Helps Boost Embraer’s Foothold in Asia

Domestic Thai airline PB Air is to become the second in Asia to start operating the Brazilian-made aircraft, the Embraer ERJ 145, two of which are due to arrive in Thailand on Dec 23rd and go into service on Christmas day. The aircraft will replace PB Air’s existing Fokker F28 equipment on its routenet which […]

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2 Dec, 2002

Mombasa Bombings Mean “Soft & Vulnerable” Tourism Now a Target

LAST week’s bombings in the Kenyan beach resort of Mombassa pose a grave danger to the future of the global tourism industry, and more specifically to that of Thailand, too. While international intelligence and security officials are admitting that the ‘soft and vulnerable’ tourism industry has now become a target worldwide, Thai industry executives are […]

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25 Nov, 2002

Big Companies Gobbling Up Small Seems To Be Over

LONDON: The era of large travel companies gobbling up small travel companies appears to be over. Mr Roger Luscombe of Continental Capital Partners told a seminar at the recent World Travel Market 2002 that the mergers and acquisitions among travel companies that dominated the industry for the last 2-3 years is “not happening”. He noted […]

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28 Oct, 2002

Music to the Ears of Team-Builders in MICE Sector

The boom in global conventions and meetings business is creating huge cross-linkage opportunities for the music and entertainment industry. While traditional music remains in demand for regular functions like opening and closing ceremonies, corporations with big budgets and specific team-building needs are turning to companies like Spirit of the Dance and Human Rhythms. Both were […]

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21 Oct, 2002

Global Aviation Contracts, But Thai Airlines Buck Trend

Global airlines are going through a bad patch and the aviation industry appears ready for a major downturn. Not so, apparently, in Thailand where airlines appear to be bucking the trend. In the last few weeks, Thai Airways International has rolled out a string of announcements designed to present an upbeat picture about its future […]

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14 Oct, 2002

Bali Bombing Leaves Industry in Shock

The Pacific Asia travel and tourism industry was in a state of shock yesterday as it sought to contemplate the wide-ranging impact of the devastating bomb blasts in Bali over the weekend. “There is no such thing as a ‘safe place’ in the travel and tourism industry any more,” said Mr Alwin Zecha, managing director […]

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14 Oct, 2002

Industry Executives Begin to Brace for Fallout from Attack on Iraq

The Asia-Pacific tourism industry is beginning to prepare for yet another crisis that is expected to follow an attack on Iraq, an informal survey of regional industry executives reveals. Mr Ken Boundy, managing director of the Australian Tourist Commission, said ATC executives have met with all the CEO’s of the state tourism organisations to start […]

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13 Oct, 2002

Karen Armstrong’s Book Traces Monotheism’s “Battle for God”

Originally Published: 10 Oct 2002 The global resurgence of Islamic, Christian and Jewish fundamentalism is the theme of the latest book by well-known religious writer Karen Armstrong. The former nun who is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on the monotheistic religions has produced a powerful book called “The Battle for God,” which should […]

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7 Oct, 2002

Food & Catering Sector Faces post-9/11 Security Headaches

Kuala Lumpur: Security concerns are creating major financial and administrative headaches for suppliers of food and catering services to the aviation industry in the post-9/11 era. Although not a single incident of hijacking or terrorism has involved security lapses in catering, suppliers say they are suffering from an image of being the “soft-under-belly” of aviation, […]

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6 Oct, 2002

Double Standards of Death: How Many More Innocents Will Perish in Iraq, The Sequel?

Originally Published: 6 Oct 2002 Sifting through the mass of material available on the internet about the coming conflict in Iraq, distinctly noticeable is the nearly complete absence of any soul-searching about how many people will die. Innocent people, that is. Yes, we all know that it’s about control of global oil supplies, the upcoming […]

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30 Sep, 2002

Amadeus, Abacus Chase SMEs in Asian Travel Industry

Two of the Asia-Pacific’s leading global distribution systems (GDSs) are beginning to target one of the most neglected travel industry customer segments: the thousands of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) who badly need access to low-cost reservation and booking systems to drive business. Both are testing the technologies and administrative systems that will be […]

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22 Sep, 2002

Let’s Hear It for Whistle-Blowers

Originally Published: 22 Sept 2002 At any time in any government organisation or major company, questionable decisions are being made that rattle the conscience of one of those involved in them. Behind all the public relations glitz and glamour, someone knows exactly who is trying to achieve what and why. Unable to live with the […]

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16 Sep, 2002

How The Oriental Awoke to the Potential of the Middle East Market

In the hotel business, location is everything. A few weeks ago, Kurt Wachtveitl, general manager of The Oriental, realised that his hotel’s riverside location was not his only asset. In a letter to various embassies of the Middle East countries inviting them to book their guests at The Oriental, he pointed out that Thailand’s most […]

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9 Sep, 2002

Indonesian Travel Groups Oppose Attack on Iraq

JAKARTA: In what could be an industry first, Indonesian travel and tourism associations are to mount a joint campaign to oppose an attack on Iraq. Citing the small but steady recovery taking place in one of the country’s leading foreign exchange earning industries, the Indonesian Tourism Council and the Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board (ITPB) are […]

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8 Sep, 2002

The U.S. is becoming more like the enemy every day

Originally Published: 08 Sep 2002 Exactly a year ago, the events of 9/11 triggered a backlash against the religion of Islam. If Islam was supposed to be a religion of peace, there does not seem to be much evidence of it, went the refrain in the global media. The word ‘Islam’ was, and still is, […]

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2 Sep, 2002

Malaysian Airlines to Sell Off Assets as Part of Restructuring

Malaysia Airlines is to sell-off all its aircraft and many of its properties, including its headquarters, in a revolutionary attempt to become a debt-free ‘virtual airline,’ according to a detailed report on the restructuring plan published this week by Aviation Analyst – Asia Pacific. Under the plan, all the carrier’s assets and liabilities are to […]

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19 Aug, 2002

Wider Security Concerns Over Baggage Thefts At Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport

The recent spate of thefts and pilferage from baggage at Don Muang airport has again raised serious concern about security, but airport and airline executives are undecided who should take responsibility or what should be done next. Incidents of pilferage began after the Airports Authority of Thailand stopped securing checked-in baggage with a wrap-around plastic […]

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12 Aug, 2002

Ousted TAT Governor Goes To Court

The action initiated by former Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Pradech Phayakvichien against the TAT chairman and board seeks to declare unlawful and illegal the order removing him from the post. It will also have broader ramifications on the search for a new governor. The Administrative Court is expected to take at least two […]

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11 Aug, 2002

The Gut-Wrenching Process of Making A Fresh Start

Originally Published: 11 Aug 2003 One of the films featured at the recent film festival in Bangkok was “Wild About Harry.” Behind the relatively unceremonial title and an equally bland synopsis was a brilliant, deeply thought-provoking film of great relevance to society and humanity at large. The central character is a hard-drinking, womanising, swaggering but […]

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11 Aug, 2002

The beauty of “restructuring” by making a fresh start

Originally Published: 11 Aug 2002 One of the films featured at the recent film festival in Bangkok was “Wild About Harry”. Behind the relatively unceremonial title and an equally bland synopsis was a brilliant, deeply thought-provoking film of great relevance to society and humanity at large. The central character is a hard-drinking, womanising, swaggering but […]

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29 Jul, 2002

Leisure Conference to Break New Ground, Ponder New Topics

A fundamental and long overdue change is taking place in the subject matter discussed at global travel conferences, one that will have a profound impact on the forces shaping the future of the industry. International tourism industry academics, meeting for the biennial 7th World Leisure Congress in Kuala Lumpur, will be setting aside well-worn topics […]

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22 Jul, 2002

Bangkok Skytrain Moves to Double Daily Tourist Useage

Bangkok’s popular Skytrain has embarked upon a number of long-overdue initiatives to double the number of tourists using it daily. After having nearly totally ignored the huge potential of visitor traffic since opening in December 1999, and lost millions of baht in untapped business, the management of the Bangkok Mass Transit System PCL (BTS) is […]

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15 Jul, 2002

Thai Airways Chief’s Apology to Travelling Public Leads to Head-Scratching

Last week’s unprecedented apology by Thai Airways President Kanok Abhiradee to representatives of upmarket clients who have taken their business elsewhere was not only the first of its kind in aviation history but has left some wondering whether the chief executives of other Thai state enterprises will follow suit. Airline chief executives do not extend […]

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8 Jul, 2002

Marketing Via Movies Can Backfire, Says Study

While national tourism organisations are falling over themselves to promote movies being made in their destinations, they are paying little attention to the consequences of the success of the policy and the destination management problems that may result, according to a study by an Australian researcher. Sue Beeton, senior lecturer in tourism at La Trobe […]

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30 Jun, 2002

Religious leaders sign peace charter but now have to practice what they preach

Originally Published: 30 Jun 2002 Hundreds of religious leaders who met in Bangkok between June 12-14 have established a World Council of Religious Leaders and signed off on a charter reaffirming their belief that religion can serve as a positive force for achieving world peace. But, as usual, their lofty and noble words were belied […]

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24 Jun, 2002

As Aviation Security Costs Soar, Key Question Is: Who Will Pay?

As the airline industry faces billions of dollars in additional costs to security and insurance concerns, and the major question is: Who is going to pay, and how? For years, airlines resisted attempts to impose any kind of taxes, surcharges or levies, be it to protect the environment or boost government revenues, but today faces […]

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17 Jun, 2002

TAT Survey Shows Visitors Fret About Being Cheated

For years, the Thai tourism industry suffered from two serious ‘image’ problems: Bangkok’s traffic and environmental conditions, and the city’s barefaced nightlife. Now, both those complaints have been dethroned by the latest ‘image problem’: Dishonesty of the city’s public transport drivers and jewellery shops. In a survey of 500 visitors earlier this year, the Tourism […]

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16 Jun, 2002

Hindu Leader Criticises Conversions: Save Us From the Saviours

Originally Published: 16 June 2002 IT did not take long for the fault-lines to emerge at the meeting of global religious leaders at Buddhamonthon last Wednesday. Within minutes of the opening bell of the World Council of Religious Leaders conference, the mainstream religions had placed their political and philosophical baggage out in full display. Amidst […]

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10 Jun, 2002

Victimised TAT Governor Exonerated, Walks Away With Head High

Former Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Pradech Phayakvichien last week walked away from his job legally exonerated of the charges against him, with the added confirmation that he was indeed the victim of a political conspiracy hatched by TAT insiders in collusion with Cabinet ministers. In a statement of rebuttal over the “ethical” as against […]

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3 Jun, 2002

Australia Launches $3 Million, Multi-Language Tourism Website

BRISBANE: The Australian Tourist Commission last week launched a new multi-language tourism website designed to help potential visitors cut through the clutter of thousands of individual websites and give a major hand specially to small and medium sized businesses. Three years and A$3 million in the making, the website, australia.com, is referred to as “the […]

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27 May, 2002

Second Bangkok Airport Faces Further Delay

A conference on the future of Thai airports last week made little headway in clarifying some of the major issues related to the opening of Suvarnabhumi, the second Bangkok International airport. While the official position remains a prospective inauguration in 2005, virtually no-one believes it will be possible, with airline veterans in Thailand saying 2008 […]

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20 May, 2002

Thai Women Tourism Leaders Plan Local Chapter of Global Network

Some of Thailand’s top women executives in the travel and tourism industry are exploring the possibility of setting up their own separate grouping in the wake of the momentum generated by the annual convention of the International Federation of Women’s Travel Organisations (IFWTO) in Bangkok last week. At least 15 individual members are needed to […]

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19 May, 2002

World religious leaders to ponder whether they are a part of the solution, or the problem?

Originally published: 19 May 2002 Ministers responsible for the social and economic development of Asia Pacific countries will gather in Bangkok this week for their annual talk-fest on the never-ending range of regional problems. In the august halls of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, they will moan and groan […]

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5 May, 2002

Nobel Laureate Bishop Tutu: “Oppressing another people will get Israel neither security nor safety”

Originally Published: 5 May 2002 Even the most carefully laid plans have a way of backfiring. What began as a plan to demonise and smear Muslims as terrorists in the wake of Sept 11 has now shifted to the greater truth: A focus on the brutal occupation of Palestine and Israel’s attempts to cover up, […]

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2 Apr, 2002

Just Months After 9/11, The Industry Changes Hands

1. THE INDUSTRY CHANGES HANDS: The travel and tourism industry has now slipped well and truly into the hands of security companies, insurance firms, intelligence agencies and diplomats. A serious problem looms.
2. UP IN ARMS AGAINST ADVISORIES: A number of governments resent being held hostage to “unfair, capricious and arbitrary” travel advisories. At least two ministers are speaking out. The UNWTO feels they have a point.

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