Wonderful Thailand should Return the Smile on Tourism Employees Faces
The total lockdown of the Thai travel and tourism industry had struck the smiles from so many dedicated workers in the travel and tourism industry. Thailand is on the way to reopening and PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy recognizes the importance of people working in tourism.
- The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) urges all public and private sector actors in the Thai travel and tourism industry to take urgent action to address the impact of COVID-19 on the local tourism supply chain.
- Between December 2020 and March 2021, PATA, in collaboration with a Swiss consultancy that works with companies to embed responsible business practices into their business and supply chains, and with the support of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, investigated the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic informal workers in the Thai tourism supply chain.
- Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA, emphasizes the importance of the regular worker in the Thai travel and tourism industry
“Years ago I was on a Thai Airways flight from Singapore to Bangkok and discussed the difference between Singapore Airlines and Thai International Airways with a flight attendant. I never forget the flight that said to me with a big smile: “SQ may be a little better sometimes, but we have the better smile.”
WTN chairman Jürgen Steinmetz remembered his experience and applauded PATA boss Dr. Mario Hardy to fight to keep that smile alive. It is what makes the Thai people and Thailand so amazing in the eyes of visitors to the kingdom.
Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA, said: “The informal staff provide the local experiences that create unforgettable tourism. However, such professions are repeatedly ignored when discussing the tourism value chain, despite the fact that they make up a large part of tourism employment and offer entrepreneurial opportunities for women, young people and the elderly. This important sector has no voice and is excluded from industry discussions, ”he added.
“I usually meet a street vendor with a smile on his face. But now she looks sad and I can no longer see the happiness on that face. COVID-19 has put you in a difficult position. “
The impact of COVID-19 on global tourism was discussed extensively over the past year. The question is not whether tourism will survive, but what it will look like after COVID-19. Many questions still remain, with most experts focusing on airlines, hospitality, travel agents and tour operators. Hence, these considerations everywhere overlook the crucial element of tourism – the informal tourism workers.
Informal workers include street vendors, souvenir sellers, drivers, freelance tour guides, activity providers, artists, and artisans, to name a few. They offer local experiences that create unforgettable tourism. However, such professions are repeatedly ignored when discussing the tourism value chain, despite the fact that they make up a large part of tourism employment and offer entrepreneurial opportunities for women, young people and the elderly. This important sector has no voice and is often left out of industry discussions.