Tag Archives: destination branding

The turth about Thailand

I recently watched an interesting documentary called ‘BIG TROUBLE IN THAILAND‘ which showed behind-the-scenes action with the Thai Police, including the tourist issues they have to deal with everyday in their country. The documentary showed the Thai constitute’s hash reasoning with drug dealings, drunken and disorderly tourists, crime from Thai Lady-Boys and the renowned sex trade industry.

Watch a preview here.

I have visited Thailand for several different reasons over previous years; holidays, volunteering and working. Each time I visit I saw a new side to the country. Over 1 million British tourists visit the country each year, but for what reason? Thailand has proven to be popular for cheap living, drinks, food, easy sex culture, live shows and full-moon parties… alongside their great beaches. In this documentary the British culture shows that they take full advantage of these things, without thinking or respecting the consequences!

The British have always been known for their heavy drinking and party culture, which has been seen in European holiday destinations such as Greece, Spain, Ibiza alongside many others, but this culture is now reaching the other side of the world. The problem is that these cultures are very different and need to be understood before entering the country. The Thai constitute is very different and extremely harsh in comparison to the UK’s – for example the documentary saw a young British girl been punished by their legal system for having cannabis in her procession whilst in Thailand. The results of this illegal activity, meant she was not allowed to leave the country throughout the legal proceedings and was looking at a sentence of around 5 years in prison.

Thailand has recently exploded into the holiday market for not only the affluent but also a more mainstream holiday destination too – mainly due to cheaper flights. The country has done much work on promoting their country to tourists through their ‘Amazing Thailand‘ campaign and publicity and visits to the country have increased.

See one of their campaign videos – and see how they don’t even mention the ‘nightlife’ of Thailand which was showcased in the documentary.

However, after programmes which show the scary side of travelling to different cultures and the trouble visitors can accidentally find themselves in may question how long the tourism boom will last.

I see Thailand’s tourism going one way or the other – There will either be an increase in a ‘Malia’ style party holiday resulting in the country catering for a reckless party atmosphere that the ‘quality’ and ‘luxury holiday’ will disappear – or – tourists will realise the dangers and land themselves elsewhere within the world where cheap flights and hectic nightlife can be found. We can only watch and see – but I know that if I return, I will be searching for a remote and untouched part of Thailand where party-goers and teenagers have not yet explored!

Queensland, Where Australia Shines – Global Facebook Campaign

Last week, Queensland’s tourist board started a new global social media campaign where entrants can win a holiday for them and 9 friends to Australia, Queensland.

Passport to Shine is a unique global social media campaign which provides Facebook users in Australia and across the world with a virtual passport which they can fill with Queensland experiences to be in the draw to win an ultimate Queensland holiday worth up to $100,000.

This campaign is one of the first high profile social media campaigns to be ran by a tourist board. Tourism agencies are realising the potential that free social media tools can mean for campaigns, as tools such as Facebook generate access to millions of people, many of whom are willing to hand over contributions to make a campaign grow. Brands are realising more and more that user-generated content is a cheap, effective and successful way of gaining brand recognition – and as in the case of Queensland Tourism, promoting your brand alongside a competition can achieve huge results. A few days after the launch of this campaign, they had already received Facebook followers of 117,000 people. It will be interesting to see how this campaign grows. Check it out at: www.facebook.com/visitqueensland