BANGKOK (September 10, 2008) – Over 60 members and invited guests attended Skal International Bangkok’s luncheon meeting at the Plaza Athenee Bangkok Hotel on September 9, 2008. The guest speaker was Mr. Felix Gaehwiler, general manager Sales Southeast Asia of Kuoni Destination Management, with the presentation: Trends and Challenges in Destination Management.
Taking questions from the floor, Mr. Gaehwiler was asked for his comments on the current political climate in Thailand. Mr. Gaehwiler said, ”Kuoni Thailand has had an excellent year so far in 2008. Two weeks ago when the demonstrations started in front of government house, our business was little affected, and we have had almost no cancellations. Today we are seeing reduced volumes in particular from non-leisure travel and a small reduction in Government and Corporate overseas travel.”
He added, “September is normally the end of the budget year for Thai Ministries; they have historically used travel budgets in these last weeks as this cannot be carried forward. This business will not improve until the emergency decree is lifted, which we hope will be very soon and even possibly this week.”