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

Author Archive

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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, […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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, […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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 […]

more…

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, […]

more…

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.

more…



1 Nov, 2001

“Karl Marx Led To My Arrest As A ‘Terrorist’ In Germany”

A UK commentator of the Muslim faith narrates his experience of the idiotic racial discrimination being faced by Muslim travellers at airport checkpoints. Also in this dispatch, American Muslims are taking up the problem of airline profiling and traveller discrimination at the highest level. About time for some international travel associations to get involved too.

more…

15 Oct, 2001

Islamic Tourism Ministers See Post-9/11 Shift to Intra-Islamic Travel

Affected like all other countries by a decline in visitor arrivals, tourism ministers the world’s 56 largely Islamic countries last week adopted a plan to refocus marketing and promotion strategies at their easiest target markets: the world’s one billion Muslims themselves.

more…

8 Oct, 2001

Airlines Predict Huge Drop in Traffic Post-9/11

The International Air Transport Association is forecasting that capacity on international scheduled services will drop by an average of 10-20% during the next three months as a result of the turbulence affecting the airline industry in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the US.

more…

30 Sep, 2001

Bleak Days Ahead as Post-9/11 Crisis Roils Travel Sector

THE global travel & tourism is confronting a bleak scenario for at least several months to come but all indications are that Thailand is still managing to hold its own – so far.

more…

27 Sep, 2001

Stay Away, Arab-American Leader Tells Terrorists

Dr. James Zogby, president, Arab American Institute, minces no words in saying what he thinks about terrorists. Also in this dispatch: The bigots in the US don’t know the difference between terrorists and normal people, but many others do. And they are showing it.

more…

17 Sep, 2001

Industry Ponders Life after 9/11

IN the mad scramble that will start for what little life there will be left in the travel industry following the US retaliation to come, Thailand ‘s ability to maintain its share could hinge to a large degree on two conditions: safety & security, and total neutrality.

more…

10 Sep, 2001

PM urged to Reinstate Respected Thai Airways Chairman

If there is one thing that many in the Thai aviation and tourism industry agree on, it is that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra needs to reinstate Prof Chai-anan Samudvanij as chairman of THAI.

more…

3 Sep, 2001

JTB Forecasts 20 Million Japanese Outbound by 2005

A major travel forceast report by the giant Japanese tour operator Japan Travel Bureau (JTB) predicts that the country could generate 20 million overseas travellers by 2005 but major shifts taking place in the market demographics need to be closely monitored.

more…

27 Aug, 2001

Shinawatra Group Shows Thai MICE Sector How Mobile Phones Can Help

Looking to squeeze some added business out of two once high-flying global industries, travel and telecoms, the Shinawatra group of companies last week moved to boost its profile amongst a key target market: Members of the Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA).

more…

20 Aug, 2001

Tourism Educational Institutions Seek Ways to Make Training More Relevant

A growing regional network of travel & tourism educational institutions is making steady headway in helping overcome one of the region’s most pressing problems: The chasm between the quality of manpower being produced by these institutions and that actually required by the private sector.

more…

14 Aug, 2001

Travel Agents’ Advice on Health & Safety Not Up To Par

As mass movements of people across countries leads to a corresponding increase in health and safety risks, the role of travel agents in providing proper preventive advice is becoming crucial. However, researchers at the University of Queensland, Australia, say agents are not rising to the task.

more…

6 Aug, 2001

Asian Hotels Alliance Plots Marketing Blitz to Take On Global Chains

MARKETING chiefs of the newly-formed Asian Hotels Alliance (AHA) are to meet in Pattaya today to work out finer details of how the newly formed group is to be financed, structured and operated as it strives to growing competition from multinational hotel chains.

more…

23 Jul, 2001

New Thai Airways Chairman Seeks to Sweep Clean

Bit by bit, Thai Airways International chairman Prof Chai-anan Samudavanij is proceeding with a plan to make THAI what he calls a model example of how state enterprises can and should be restructured in a global economy.

more…

16 Jul, 2001

Report Highlights Challenge of Change Facing NTOs

The recent changes in the structure and focus of the Tourism Authority of Thailand are in line with similar changes being made world-wide. According to a report by an Australian-based consultancy company, national tourism organisations (NTOs) face more changes as direct-distribution, competitive pressures, budgetary-shortages and changing consumer lifestyles create an ‘entirely new marketing environment.” Published […]

more…

9 Jul, 2001

First China Aviation Report Says Huge Restructuring to Come

Along with other elements of its economy and services sector, China’s multi-billion dollar aviation industry is being rigorously restructured in preparation for the liberalisation and competition that will come with its entry into the World Trade Organisation. Exactly how the country’s dozens of airlines and airports are being reorganised, and the impact this will have […]

more…

6 Jul, 2001

First Asia-Pacific Summit of Women Mayors Focusses on Leadership

Cities are the front-lines of global travel & tourism. A comparative analysis of cities in 13 Asia-Pacific countries claims that women can govern them better than men. Agree or disagree, excerpts of the study will certainly make you think.

more…

2 Jul, 2001

First Thai Spa Association Faces Standards Test

Thailand’s first spa association is due to be set up this month but faces the critical challenge of ensuring the upkeep of standards amongst its members and staff. Indeed, while the association is being set up primarily to ensure that business flows to those facilities which claim to be genuinely professional, in a country and […]

more…

25 Jun, 2001

First Meeting to Link Tourism Along Mekong – Ganges Rivers

A relatively low-key meeting took place in Bangkok last month to build stronger tourism linkages between Mekong countries and India, one of the most promising future source markets for visitor arrivals. The First Tourism Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Expert Group Meeting was held in Bangkok on 29 May, to identify ways to boost intra-regional tourism flows […]

more…

18 Jun, 2001

Life Set To Begin at 40 For Thai Tourism Industry

It is said that life begins at 40. That is certainly proving true for the Thai travel & tourism industry which last week witnessed four press conferences that were amply indicative of the shape of things to come. The TAT announced details of its new Tourism Action Plans for 2001/2 in which it is going […]

more…

11 Jun, 2001

Thai Tourism Seeks Ways to Get 40-Year-Old Goose To Keep Laying Eggs

Having completed a week-long meeting of its senior officials last week, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is today set to announce one of its most significant revisioning programmes since the agency was created in 1960. Like many other regional national tourism organisations which are doing the same for their own industries, the TAT is trying […]

more…

8 Jun, 2001

Major Issues Facing Travel & Tourism In The New Millennium

The former Deputy Managing Director of the Australian Tourist Commission  offers his thoughts upon completion of a term at the ATC that spearheaded Australia’s tourism promotion campaign built around the 2000 Olympics.

more…

4 Jun, 2001

Australian Tourism Mulls Life After Sydney Olympics 2000

BRISBANE: Australia has joined the growing club of countries with devalued currencies and its travel industry now faces major ‘restructuring’ in the post-Olympics era. The Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) as well as its hotels and airlines are all facing shifts in their management, ownership and strategic directions as a result of the new realities that […]

more…

29 May, 2001

Australia, With New Tourism Chief, Mulls Life After 2000 Olympics

Ken Boundy replaces John Morse as chief of the Australian Tourist Commission and admits he has an hard act to follow.

more…

21 May, 2001

Thai Resort Club, Bought by German Bank, Faces Overhaul

An old 235-room holiday club in Pranburi, set up originally for the German market, has been partially bought by the Deutsche Bank and is undergoing a 300 million baht retrofit to join the growing range of classy resort properties in Thailand. The old Club Aldiana Siam is due to open in November as the Evason […]

more…

16 May, 2001

Emirates Agents “Convict” Aussies

EMIRATES AGENTS ‘CONVICT’ AUSSIES: Emirates Holidays, the in-house tour wholesaler of Emirates Airlines, launched its glossy 325-page brochure for 2001/2002 in Dubai last month. Twenty-four countries featured in the brochure strutted their stuff to 220 specially-invited travel agents. The Aussies took the cake. Here’s why.
2. BRIDGING THE GULF: Asia-Pacific NTOs are sharpening their marketing pencils in the Middle East. A roundup of the marketing campaigns and strategies mounted by the NTOs of Malaysia, Singapore, India all of which exhibited at the Arabian Travel Market.

more…

7 May, 2001

Dusit Becomes First Thai Hotel in the Middle East

DUBAI: While Asia-Pacific national tourism organisations are scrambling to set up marketing and promotional offices in the Arabian Gulf to tap the strong potential for outbound business, Thailand last week got its own de facto office: A distinctive ‘wai’-shaped building in arguably the most important commercial city of the entire Gulf. The rushed opening of […]

more…

30 Apr, 2001

Asia-Pacific NTOs Scramble to Tap Gulf Outbound Market

DUBAI: Asia Pacific national tourism organisations (NTOs) are scrambling to get their share of the Gulf outbound market in advance of the peak summer season for outbound travel from this lucrative part of the world. A better understanding of the cultural nuances of the Gulf countries, growing airline connections and a huge diversity of product […]

more…

27 Apr, 2001

Ten Great Business Opportunities In Travel

A TIME Asia staff writer offers his insights in this speech delivered at the PATA 50th anniversary annual conference in Kuala Lumpur.

more…

27 Apr, 2001

The Future Of Hotel Investment

Accor Asia-Pacific Chairman David Baffsky makes his predictions on the future of hotel investments in this speech at the PATA 50th anniversary conference in Kuala Lumpur.

more…

23 Apr, 2001

What is PM Thaksin’s “Real Agenda” Behind the Tourism Revamp Plans

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has long had a penchant for trying to do too much with too few resources in too little time. His attempt to revamp the tourism industry, while lauded by all concerned, is likely to face a number of reality checks on the long road between talk and action, somewhat like his […]

more…

19 Apr, 2001

PATA’s 50th anniversary Conference & Travel Mart in KL

Malaysia averted what would have been a major public relations disaster for its tourism industry by thwarting a planned rally by the political opposition parties to mark the April 14, 1999 conviction of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy and abuse of power. On the very day the whizbang 50th PATA annual conference […]

more…

18 Apr, 2001

PATA’s 50th Annual Conference: Excerpts From Presentations

The 50th annual conference of the Pacific Asia Travel Association in Kuala Lumpur saw a number of eminent speakers express a plethora of views about the past, present and future of travel & tourism. Excerpts from some presentations.

more…

9 Apr, 2001

New Myanmar airline Chief Seeks Liberal ASEAN Traffic Rights Regime

Singapore: The Singaporean managing director of Myanmar Airways International (MAI) has called on ASEAN aviation regulatory authorities to start relaxing traffic rights restrictions in a way that will give the region’s smaller airlines room to grow. He also says it is about time for the smaller airlines to consider setting up their own association to […]

more…

3 Apr, 2001

Tourism Set for New Poverty Alleviation Role

The travel & tourism industry is undergoing a significant change of positioning, one that will have a long-term impact on the way it is funded and developed.

more…

3 Apr, 2001

The Future of Asian Economies

Imtiaz Muqbil

Just prior to the annual travel mart and conference of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) respectively in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) released its annual State of the Region report. It outlines a volatile economic scenario. Currency values, oil prices, public spending, trade […]

more…

2 Apr, 2001

ADB Plans First Seminar on Poverty and Tourism at Board Meeting

KUNMING: For the first time, a seminar on the role of ‘well-managed and well-developed’ tourism in alleviating poverty will be featured on the programme of the Asian Development Bank when it meets in early May 2001 for its annual Board of Governors meeting. Designed to come up with a set of policies on how to […]

more…

26 Mar, 2001

Nice I.T. Bells & Whistles but, Hoteliers Ask, Will They Deliver?

For all the hype surrounding the ‘solutions’ offered by the Internet and Information technology, hospitality industry investors and managers are taking a much more cautious approach towards further IT investments and demanding concrete proof that all the bells and whistles will deliver what the vendors say they will. Burnt by the continuing dot-com bust and […]

more…

26 Mar, 2001

The Sporting Life and Its Links to Tourism

Spurred by the high-publicity Olympics 2000 in Sydney, the World Tourism Organisation commissioned a study in 2000 to analyse the growing links between sports and tourism. An executive summary of how the French, Germans and Dutch travellers mix the two.
The Aussies are widely said to have got their Olympic experience right. But they also learned some lessons, and are now more than willing to share them.

more…

19 Mar, 2001

Aussies Fine-Tune Pitch for Incentives From Asia

In a revamped approach towards marketing incentives and corporate meetings in Thailand and the rest of Asia, the Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) has launched a strategy to get Asian companies to upgrade the content, quality and standards of the incentive travel rewards for their staff and dealers. In Bangkok last week, a contingent of 80 […]

more…

19 Mar, 2001

European Tour Operators In Feeding Frenzy, But Beware The Result

Who’s gobbling up who is the talk of the town in Europe as giant tour operators embark upon a frenzy of mergers and takeovers in pursuit of market share, vertical and horizontal integration. Watching this M&A frenzy with concern, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is warning developing countries that they could be left holding the short end of the stick in the final outcome.

more…