As Asia prepares for a year of increased visitors, Thailand is gearing up to make sure the safety of those visitors is a prime consideration. Outward signs of the this is everywhere apparent, starting with regulations covering cheap flights.
Tomorrow sees the start of the first South East Asian Tsunami and Evacuation Drill conducted by the Thailand’s National Disaster Warning Centre in the Andaman coastal provinces.
The drill was practiced earlier before the full scale trial which takes place tomorrow at 79 locations. Later on there will be a similar drill conducted in the Gulf of Thailand’s provinces where 48 warning towers have been installed. Six Andaman coastal provinces were hit by the Tsunami on December 26th 2004 in which more than 5,000 local residents and Thai and foreign holidaymakers lost their lives in twin tidal waves.
One of the worst hit areas during the tsunami was Khao Lak, but this small resort has triumphed over the disaster that brought it international media attention. The community has reinvented itself, with a resilience, a strength and determination that could be considered part of “Amazing Thailand”.
Helped by relief outfits, local grassroots organizations have been working to create a new town and new organizations. One such humanitarian organization called the Ecotourism Training Centre has been helping young local people in Khao Lak to gain new job skills as well as teaching them the importance of protecting their environment.
Another safety measure which will affect both Thais and visitors, is the increased control over budget airlines, which are soon to face new rules by Thailand’s Civil Aviation Department. Details of these new regulations which cover marketing strategy and air-fare related issues have been given to each low-cost carrier, in order that they may make representations, before their enforcement.
It is suggested that all low-cost airlines should submit promotional campaigns to the Department and if they are considered misleading or otherwise could affect passengers and the aviation industry, then the department will not approve the plans. The promotional price of all tickets must be checked by the Department to prevent problems when people are unable to purchase tickets at the advertised price.
The big stick is being waved about in no uncertain manner and the ultimate threat being issued is the loss of the airline’s licence as maximum punishment for deceiving the consumer.
Maybe all countries could try this?
And following on this, Thailand is also to resurrect its successful “Amazing Thailand” programme, but with the twist. This time it’s the “Amazing Wonders of Thailand” which are (for the purposes of advertising): Thai-ness, Treasure Products, Beaches
Nature, Health & Wellness, Thai Festivities.