THE MICE industry in Thailand has taken a slight step back after the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej last Thursday, according to a report by TTG Asia.
Industry members that were interviewed by the publication were concerned about “possible lost business” or postponed bookings if overseas clients perceive that Thailand is “shut down” owing to “overall mood” of the 30-day mourning period.
Peter Caprez, cluster general manager of three Marriott hotels in Bangkok and Samui, was quoted, “[Clients] feel that it might not be conducive having a meeting in Thailand at this time as the overall mood isn’t the same as always, and the famous ‘Thai Smile’ might be in short supply, which in turn affects delegates and meeting outcome[s].”
However, there seems to be a false sentiment from overseas visitors about the mood in Thailand being sombre and activities being restricted. Aside from respect to Thai mourners and the banning of large celebratory events, things are resuming as normal.
This is echoed by Bill Barnett, managing director of C9 Hotelworks in Phuket, who told TTG Asia: “There’s still perception among a number of people that beach-going is not being allowed, which is entirely incorrect.”
In fact, the Tourism Authority of Thailand issued a notice that only large public events and street parties such as Morrissey Live and Lee Jongsuk Fan Meeting will or have been cancelled.
Tourist sites and public transportation will run as normal, and entertainment sites will choose to operate at their own discretion.
Recently, the BBC was slammed by netizens for painting an in accurate picture of the situation in Thailand. The video released by the public broadcaster service released a video that depicted a watered-down version of the country.
Athough true that the Thai government has imposed a one-year mourning period for the public sector, during which civil servants are to wear black, netizens claimed that the advice contained in BBC’s montage could put foreigners off from visiting the country.