The sudden stop of all activities has hit tourism severely. Transformations are expected for the industry. The various players in the tourism industry are diverse: tour operators, airlines, bus companies, hoteliers, car rental companies, rental of surfboards, motorcycles, travel guides, and many other business people. A lot of staff have been fired. The personnel in the various areas must reorient and develop new marketing strategies. Delivering services and products is now interesting. Here is an example.
Domestic tourism is key now
Domestic tourism will keep the tourism industry running. While domestic tourism may ensure hotel rooms to be booked, it is expected that domestic tourism will not generate the same turnover as international tourism does. We may also assume that the general economic situation will make people spend less on holidays. Areas that expect mostly international tourism will have to compete with internationally unknown destinations like for instance Koh Libong, close to the city of Trang located in the neighboring state of Krabi. Trang has a domestic airport (TST) that is gaining importance in the region and the local authorities are developing Trang as a tourist destination.
Trang, the prospering state in Southern Thailand
The city of Trang is located beside the river Trang. Trang was relocated from the coast to the interior after continuous floods at the beginning of the 19th century. The city of Trang offers several sites to visit: the Kong Mong Ye Shrine, the Trang Sino Potucci Buildings, the Phraya Ratsadanupradit Mahisornphakdi Monument, the Surin Pang Falls and the Somdet Phra Srinakharin Park 95. The city is organized around a Clock Tower Roundabout and has not been combed through by Google Street View yet.
An international travel guide delivers seafood to your doorstep
In Trang, we meet Mr. Prasarn Bensaard who had started working occasionally as a travel group leader for international destinations. He started to love his new job and decided to quit his stable job at an aquarium about two years ago. Prasarn had obtained his certificate by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and was about to start his own business this year as the Corona epidemic occurred. The unexpected delay extending to all industries and a dozen of canceled trips became a situation he had to face.
I started working with my sister who had been running a seafood restaurant in Trang till the shutdown. Since the supply chain for fish and seafood was set I developed a marketing strategy to deliver properly packed fresh seafood to homes.
Delivering fresh fish now, travelling with tourists later
Prasarn still considers tourism a profitable business and is longing for trips all around the world. For his own future, he wishes to invest in what he had been planning before the crisis. He states that urban Thai people still like to do short trips to the southern beaches to enjoy but many also travel north seeking cooler temperatures. But Prasarn does not expect Thai people to undertake long-distance travel within 2020.
I really miss doing group trips around the world. But I am pretty sure that Thai people will not do such trips to Europe before 2021. Anyway, meanwhile, I invite people from all over to discover Trang as a tourist destination that offers a beautiful coast with caves at its shores, the Libong Island, the river Trang, large agricultural areas, and divers and friendly open to people from all over.
While Prasarn spreads optimism, people in Thailand are waiting for results from the gradual repeal of measures and developing strategies to make their areas attractive for travelers and merchants meanwhile.