Tourism Authority Of Thailand Hotel Pimps

One of the Best Friends Forever (BFF) that the Tourism Authority of Thailand paid to visit during the 25-26 July Happiness Street Festival shortly after the military coup d’etat on May 22nd, has filed his report.

I call it a report since it looks like one of my after action reports (AAR) I used to do for the US Government.  What was stunning was most of the review was for high end hotels and very little about Thailand.  I guess the Tourism Authority of Thailand brought in some hotel pimps.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Terminal 21

Tourism Authority of Thailand Terminal 21

The Tourism Authority of Thailand paid to have Hitesh Jhunjhunwala from the magazine, Eastern Panorama come to Thailand as one of supposedly 900 travel bloggers. There is very little online about Hitesh Jhunjhunwala as he has not written very much for the magazine or for anyone else.

His brilliant trip report is entitled “Thailand Land of Smile”. How original. And, he does a day-by-day diary entry that is at about the 4th grade level of reporting. Must have been recommend by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Here is where Hitesh went and here are the hotels he visited/stayed at:

Happiness Street Festival
Grand Palace
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Tham Phraya Nakhon Cave
Hua Hin Railway Station, the Santorini Park and Venezia shopping village
Pranakorn Kiri Palace

Ramada Menam
Centara Grand Hotel
Sofitel Sukhumvit Bangkok
The Rembrandt Hotel
Amari Hua Hin Hotel
Evason Hua Hin Luxury Resort
Yaiya Resort and Spa Hua Hin
Dusit Thani Hua Hin
Diamond Hotel

For someone being paid by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to write a favorable report, this one comes across as so-so trip.  Here are a few quotes:

Speaking of street festival, don’t be afraid to try the street food there. It’s safe – even safer than a restaurant. But if one has a taste for non-chilly food, well one must order ‘Mai-Pet’, which literally translates to “one chilly” because by Thai standards that is same as non-spicy.

The author must have never been to Thailand before.  Street food can be delicious or it can be fatal but it is certainly not safer than a restaurant.  And “Mai Pet” means “Not Spicy Hot”.  And, chilly means cold – chili is a pepper.  Some brilliant journalism there.

“Geographically, Thailand is located in the middle of everything. One can easily get to a lot of places from Thailand. It is 3 hours to Hong Kong, 2 hours to Singapore and 4 hours to Bali by air.”

Nice that he recommends going to somewhere other than Thailand – wonder if the Tourism Authority of Thailand knows that he is recommending using Thailand as a jump-off point.

Imagine an area covered with dirty water, a type of place which would be left unattended to in many countries, being used to boost the economy of the country.

He is referring to the floating market – doesn’t sound like a place I want to visit.

The Thai food served was a little challenging for us Indian food lovers who found it to be fairly bland. But the lack of vegetarian options in the menu was more or less compensated for by the choice assortment of fruits on offer.

Bland food and no vegetarian options.  I have said many time – the Tourism Authority of Thailand does not know how to market to foreigners.

Availability of simple hotels where rooms are available for as low as $10 to $15 per night.

Obviously didn’t know he is supposed to be pushing the high end hotels to attract the upscale tourists. I guess the Tourism Authority of Thailand needs to review articles before they are published.

There is no mention of previous Bangkok Shutdown protests, the coup d’etat or martial law. In six days, the author visited the Tourism Authority of Thailand failed Happiness Street Festival, the Grand Palace, the floating market, a cave, and Hua Hin.  During the same period, he visited/stayed at nine high-end hotels.

The article has two photos (Grand Palace exterior and Floating Market) and one caption about the Reclining Buddha.  The layout of the article is very ugly and poorly written with way too many generic descriptions. And, not one link to any attraction or hotel.

This is the quality of work that the Tourism Authority of Thailand pays good money for.

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Categories:   TAT, Thailand