Thai Tourism Needs Better Security Standards -- Expert
BY: PATA THAILAND CHAPTER
BANGKOK, January 25, 2007 -- Senior representatives of Thai tourism have been told that the industry needs to upgrade its security standards.
Security consultant Mr Vic Plessner of the Bangkok-based VHP Group told the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Thailand Chapter AGM, January 17, that hotel security staff should hold monthly breakfast meetings to network and exchange insights in a structured manner.
“In Thailand, hotel guards are often treated like janitors and not given the training and authority to do their job properly,” he said.
Mr Plessner said that hotels should rigorously pursue “what if” scenarios and implement “aggressive security comfort” measures such as sending a hotel representative to meet passengers at the airport. In the airport arrivals hall, hotel guests could be given a pre-programmed mobile phone with important phone numbers in it.
Mr Plessner, a 38-year security veteran who moved from the US to Thailand last year, said that while the conflict in the deep south of the country seemed to be geographically contained, the local carnage sullied the national image of Thailand and affected people’s decisions of whether to visit the country or not.
He said it was unusual for terrorist groups not to take responsibility for bombings. He told the PATA gathering that a huge PR effort was needed and that it was counter-productive for senior government members to say that the country could expect more violence.
The PATA delegates were also informed about a new tourism destination, the 200 underground caves of Viengxay in Laos. The caves were used as an underground city by Laotian Communists fleeing persistent bombing by America during the Indochina War.
Pictured front row, left to right: Mr. Luzi A. Matzig, Chairman, Marketing Committee, Mr. Paul Rogers, SNV, Mr. Bob James, Chairman, Executive Committee, Mr. Vic Plessner, VHP Group.
Back row from left to right: Mr. Sethapon Chindanon, Committee Member, Mr. Ken Scott, Chairman, P.R. Committee, Mr. Malai Sakolviphak, member, Mr. Danai Wansom, Chairman, Industry Development Committee, M.L. Hathaijanok Kritakara, Hon. Secretary, Mr. Vincent Tabuteau, Chairman, Programme Committee.