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Malaysia promotes itself as an alternative to Bangkok for Phuket tourists

Malaysia Takes Advantage of Phuket's Pain

Monday, May 17, 2010
MALAYSIA appears to be making an unseemly pitch for tourists planning to visit Thailand who might be contemplating a holiday in an alternative destination to Bangkok.

It's considered to be bad form in the tourism industry to promote a destination in a rival country when a neighbor is experiencing a disaster, either man-made or natural.

Malaysian Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen is quoted in The Star Online, a Malaysian news outlet, as saying that given its proximity to Thailand, Malaysia could offer a good alternative to tourists planning to visit Bangkok that would allow them to continue their holidays instead of cutting them short.

The report starts off by saying that ''the Tourism Ministry is working closely with local and foreign tour operators to lure Malaysian and foreign tourists looking to cancel their trips to conflict-torn Bangkok.''

The minister said her department had learned that some foreign tourists currently in other parts of Thailand, like Phuket or Southern Thailand, also planned to cancel their scheduled trips to Bangkok as a result of the current situation.

''We will be launching the Colors of Malaysia 2010 event at Dataran Merdeka on May 22 and this will be another good attraction that we can offer such tourists,'' she told reporters on Sunday.

She told The Star that the military 'lockdown'' in the heart of Bangkok that has sparked fierce clashes with red shirt protesters has alarmed Bangkok-bound tourists.

Travel alerts for the whole of Thailand have caused cancellations, even though Phuket remains a safe destination and is 10 hours by road from Bangkok.

As occupancy rates slump, and with jobs under threat, discount deals are being offered by four-star and five-star resorts on Phuket and around the Andaman region.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I am in the UK at the moment and since fighting started both Malaysian and Indian tourism authorities have been putting adverts up during the news with slogans like ''Truly Asia'' etc, who can blame them really. The mob mentality need to be removed where a very small minority can bring the country down.

Posted by Michael on May 17, 2010 15:58


Phuket tourism industry players did the same thing after the Bali bomb. Business can be harsh...

Posted by L on May 17, 2010 17:32


I keep hearing about how unfortunate the whole situation is. They are right it is, but Thailand can only point the finger in one direction - at Thais. The demise of tourism and the economic woes are being caused directly by the levels of greed and corruption.

What troubles me is how blind people are. They simply expect things to just turn around every time they make a mess of it. Will they ever learn? The really sad thing is that most of the problems Thailand has could be easily fixed if common sense was introduced into the equation.

Listen to the King. Sadly, his words of wisdom are continuously ignored, and yet the Thai people say they love and respect him.

Will the Thai people ever learn that it's not about today and what you can get, it's about the future and what's sustainable?

Posted by Noddy on May 18, 2010 17:33

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