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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  19 August 2015  

Boosting tourism in the country

I COULDN’T agree more with what Avid Watcher, Menglait, pointed out in his/ her letter to the editor titled ‘Lack of facilities could drive tourists away’.

There is a serious need to improve our exit and entry points in the nation in order to attract more tourists to explore our unique culture and heritage. How about starting dedicated booths that give information on different homestays across the four districts or products from the One Village One Product initiative?

This would not only give tourists information on what’s available in the country, but would also give our local businesses that especially rely on tourism, a better chance of attracting customers. I believe that the authorities in the tourism industry can look into this and learn from their counterparts in the Southeast Asian region. Just take a look at the airport in Langkawi.

During my visit to the island, I had the chance to snorkel at Pulau Payar Island from the information found in brochures at these booths stationed at the arrival hall of the airport. In addition, I was also able to rent a car for a few days from a local company and experienced one of the best massages on the island, with a view to boot. I also navigated the island with the help of street maps, which were available for the tourists’ taking. Not only was it convenient but it also made my stay more pleasurable. How many businesses benefited from my trip? And how many more benefited from other tourists? And that’s just at the airport.

In short, if we really want to promote our local businesses, let’s try to market them in many places as we can, especially in high-volume tourist spots such as the Serasa Ferry Terminal. Help our local businesses such as Kg Sg Matan Homestay and Bintudoh Greenspring Resort grow by giving them exposure through such platforms.



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By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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