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Thailand tourism industry meets, asks for opening of borders and skies

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Andrew J Wood President Skål International Bangkok’s opening address

The two esteemed associations held their joint Annual SKÅL BANGKOK and PATA THAILAND CHAPTER 2020 Charity Christmas Lunch this week. 

With over 130 of Thailand’s top travel and tourism executives and guests joining together at the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel, attendance exceeded expectations. 

Sponsored by 8 major corporations THAI Airways, The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Serenity Wines, Thai Smile Airways, Paulaner, Bangkok Airline Representatives (BAR), NIDA Graduate School of Tourism Management and CoffeeWORKS. Prizes were donated by over 30 different industry providers from every corner of Thailand with more than 43 prizes offered to raise funds for charity.

Host Sammy Carolus, Skålleague and GM at the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel and all of his team received the organisors’ special thanks for their great offerings and outstanding service on the day. Special mention was made of the hotel’s organisational professionalism, cooperation and flexibility.

Recognizing the extraordinary times and challenges that the industry faces Skål Bangkok’s President Andrew Wood said, “The World of Tourism in our Covid-19 environment is in a very different place to 12 months ago. As an industry we have an uphill battle to survive and thrive and we must make every effort to lobby those with the power to enact change, for their understanding that the coronavirus like other viruses is among us, and like flu 98% of people do recover after an infection of Covid-19. Accepting a sensible level of risk and a gradual and safe reopening of our borders and skies must happen soon to avoid lasting structural damage to our tourism industry. 

“The virus cannot be completely eradicated and we cannot give up. As a global industry we are too large and too critical to the overall strength of the economy especially here in Thailand. We have ‘fought’ too long and battled too many crisis to fail now. 

Wood continued, “Today we take a pause and reflect on a better and brighter future. With vaccines around the corner and a focus on what is possible, building on that and by working together and coming up with sensible and achievable goals. I am confident with all the creative minds and willingness to succeed we will persevere,” he said.  The next meeting of Skål Bangkok takes place next month on Tuesday 12th January 2021, a lunch event on the river at the Peninsula Hotel, Bangkok. Members, non members and guests are encouraged to attend the business networking meeting.