By SUCHAT SRITAMA
The TOURISM Council of Thailand plans urgent measures to restore tourism on Koh Tao, which has been battered by the case surrounding the murder of two Britons.
The council has also devised a strategy to bring visitors back to Bangkok and other provinces in the coming high season.
Ittirit Kinglake, the new president of the TCT, said yesterday that the association would ask the government and local administrative bodies to launch an intensive recovery campaign specifically to rebuild tourism on Koh Tao, where a couple of British tourists were killed on September 15.
The council wants to move quickly move to refurbish the island’s security image now that homicide suspects are in custody.
The TCT will ask airlines operating flights to the South and hotels on the island to offer special packages at attractive prices to lure visitors to the island.
The local administrative office will soon organise beach guard teams to take care of tourists and beach-goers. A grand event is also being planned for Koh Tao. Some authorities are now starting rebuilding efforts through online and social media.
“These are immediate measures set to be done this month in a bid to rebuild tourism on the island. The key targets are Westerners and tourists from neighbouring countries,” Ittirit said.
He will ask for help from the central government if regulations need enforcement.
The TCT is considering establishing a special team to run campaigns especially for Koh Tao.
It is also planning to revive tourism in Chiang Rai in the North, which was hit hard by an earthquake months ago.
The council also aims to launch attractive promotions to boost tourism in Bangkok during the peak season. Forward bookings at hotels in the capital have been slow because tourists feel wary of visiting the city while martial law has been prolonged.
“Tourists’ confidence can be rebuilt by providing information that the tourism business is running normally in Bangkok,” he said.
For long-haul markets, especially the United States and Europe, where people fear an Ebola outbreak, the TCT will seek a short-term marketing blitz to lure tourists to Thailand.
“Thailand is free of Ebola. This is the place that Western tourists should come to,” he said.