Pacific Asia Travel Association Thailand Chapter
   

December 2007

Thailand 360°, December 2007
About PATA Thailand Events www.PATA-Thailand.org PATA Thailand Chapter Members

December 2007

Chairman’s Thank You

Christmas Spirit: Chapter and Skal Help Aids Babies

Chapter Now ‘Embedded’ With Policy-Makers

The Big Picture: A Sequel in the Making

More Chapter Events for 2008

Join the Chapter Annual General & Elections Meeting

Blackberries and the Digital Swamp

Thailand Posts Big Numbers, But Slow Growth

Spotlight on ASEAN Destinations

Calendar of Events 2008
PATA Thailand Chapter Mission Statement
 
Chairman’s Thank You

“It’s been a banner year for the PATA Thailand Chapter. We set out to deliver variety and relevance and I believe the Chapter has done this well. Thank you to everyone who worked hard to make events such as The Big Picture and Travelling Bits & Bytes a success. I’m pleased to report that, on tourism policy, the Chapter has established strong relations with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. The Chapter’s finances are also in good shape. It has been a pleasure working with, and for you. Please extend the same enthusiasm and valuable support to the Chapter’s next chairperson so that he, or she, can help make 2008 even more successful for the Chapter and inbound tourism in Thailand. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” – Bob James, Chapter Chairman, December 12, 2007.

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Christmas Spirit: Chapter and Skal Help Aids Babies
The Chapter and the Skal International-Bangkok held their joint annual Christmas luncheon at the JW Marriott in Bangkok, December 12. The event featured live Christmas carols. Chapter Chairman Bob James thanked attendees for supporting Chapter and Skal initiatives throughout the year. During the luncheon with 108 participants, the Chapter and Skal held an auction which raised Baht 45,000 for the AIDS Babies Milk Fund. The Chapter and Skal thank Bangkok Airways, Anantara Resort Maldives and all members who donated prizes.
 
Chapter Now ‘Embedded’ With Policy-Makers
The PATA Thailand Chapter has been invited, with other tourism bodies, to give regular input at the highest level of tourism policy making in Thailand. The Chapter will attend regular meetings at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. The invitation from the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Sasithara Pichaichannarong, follows successful consultations with Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor, Ms Phornsiri Manoharn on April 10, a session with Tourism Minister, Dr Suvit Yodmani, at the Ministry on September 3, and a representation to Dr Sasithara at the Royal River Hotel on November 2. The next meeting between the Ministry and the PATA Thailand Chapter will take place in February 2008 when it is likely a new Minister will be in place. “The Chapter is grateful to the Ministry for its openness to the Chapter’s ideas,” said Chairman Bob James. “We take the responsibility seriously and look forward to working with the Ministry to boost Thailand’s international tourism position.”

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The Big Picture: A Sequel in the Making
At “The Big Picture – Focusing on MICE” on October 6 a range of international meetings and incentives buyers, sellers and organizers gave insights on what Thailand needed to do to improve its competitive position in the MICE sector. Some of the recurring themes were: don’t cut your rates, big corporations can pay; add value instead; when submitting a proposal follow the brief exactly; always follow up after submitting your proposal; smooth the bill settlement process before a group checks out, otherwise a successful four-day incentive can go sour in five minutes; don’t cram itineraries; give incentive groups time off to explore; give groups simple food from their home country from day two, as people don’t want to eat big ‘exotic’ meals three times a day, every day; don’t rely on visas on arrival at Suvarnabhumi as it can take a long time to process a large group; constantly enhance your language skills and internet e-communication capabilities; itemize your costs so that PCO and incentive houses can see where their money is going; the first price you quote should be your best price; in negotiations, hold a value-added surprise back and use it to get your potential client across the line.

     “The insights from all sides of the MICE industry were first-rate,” said David Barrett, Executive Manager, Diethelm Events. “There are real differences in expectations between markets such as India, China and Europe and that came across very clearly during ‘The Big Picture’.”

     The Big Picture took place at the new Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld.

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More Chapter Events for 2008
Following the success of “The Big Picture” on October 26, the Chapter’s Executive Committee on November 28 decided to host another MICE event in Bangkok in 2008, just before IT&CMA. The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) will support the event “Mission for MICE”. “We had very favourable feedback and constructive advice from participants,” said Chapter Chairman Bob James. “We will use this input to ensure that the 2008 MICE event is even better and addresses new issues.” The Chapter is also planning to host an information technology event, an event on ticketing a basic MICE training course, and an event for managers who need to improve accounting skills.

Join the Chapter Annual General & Elections Meeting
The PATA Thailand Chapter Annual General & Elections Meeting will take place January 16, 2008 in Bangkok. Outgoing Chapter Chairman Mr Bob James, who steps down on December 31, e-mailed to all members on December 4 inviting them to do three things: 1) nominate candidates for the Chapter’s 2008 Executive Committee 2) submit the membership renewal form for 2008, and 3) check membership details and contact information. If you did not receive the forms, please contact pata@asiaaccess.net.th or tel 02 237 5195/9. The Chapter warmly welcomes all members to join the AGM & Elections at The Dusit Thani Hotel in Bangkok on January 16, 2008.

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Blackberries and the Digital Swamp
“We are Blackberry-driven slaves.” “Blogging is a digital swamp of misinformation characterized by strong opinions, subjectivity and charisma.” “Twenty per cent of workplace productivity is lost due to constant e-mail checking.” These were just some of the insights offered by speaker, Mr Har van der Veen, during “Travelling Bits & Bytes”, an IT seminar organized by the Chapter on June 27. The founder of MindWaves Solutions, an IT solutions company for the tourism industry, told delegates to realize the potential of data mining and to use freeware and open source applications because they can save companies thousands of dollars. “Management and staff should receive an incentive after successful implementation of an open source or freeware application,” said Mr van der Veen.
 

Thailand Posts Big Numbers, But Slow Growth
The latest statistics from PATA head office show that Thailand’s international visitor arrivals growth in 2007 is well behind its neighbours. While Thailand only managed 3.1% growth in the first three quarters this year, competing countries did much better. Bali (34.4%), Laos (29.1%), Malaysia (21.3%), Cambodia (19.0%) and Indonesia (14.1%) all posted double-digit growth. The only other countries in Southeast Asia to post single-digit growth were: Philippines (8.6%), Myanmar (5.7%) and Singapore (4.8%). Nevertheless, with the exception of Malaysia, Thailand still attracted more tourists in the first nine months of 2007 – some 10.4 million, compared to 15.6 million in Malaysia.
 

Spotlight on ASEAN Destinations
Ahead of the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Bangkok in January, the Strategic Intelligence Centre of PATA head office has compiled a three-page ASEAN tourism report for Chapter members. The overview compares ASEAN country performances at national level and hotel performance in 12 leading tourism destinations across ASEAN. For additional information on PATA reports and publications visit www.pata.org.

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Calendar of Events 2008
PATA Thailand Chapter AGM, Bangkok, Jan 16
ASEAN Tourism Forum, Bangkok Impact, Jan 18-25 (Travex Jan 23-25)
TTAA & ADT International Travel Fair, Bangkok, QSNCC, Feb 28-Mar 2
PATA CEO Challenge, Bangkok, April 29-30 at Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld
Thailand Travel Mart (TTM), June 5-8 at IMPACT
PATA Travel Mart, Hyderabad, Sep 16-19
 

PATA Thailand Chapter Mission Statement
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Thailand Chapter is a voluntary not-for-profit membership organisation that supports the responsible development of the travel and tourism industry in Thailand. The Chapter organises tourism training seminars, disseminates useful information to its members and the media and supports the strategic objectives of PATA head office. The Chapter comprises both private and government sectors. More information is available at www.PATA-Thailand.org.

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