- Posts: 1488
- Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:48 pm
I am not sure if you do read my post and you do understand them. On November 9th I told you some points why that I would not recommend Thailand as a travel destination at that time. I also wrote; “… Good luck that it happened before high season, imagine the airport closing would have been around X-mas time. Well, that would have been a real mess.
So please Doc and other optimists; can you guarantee that no more airports will be closed in the future? I do not think so, and that is why a serious tourism expert would not recommend trips to Thailand right now. Even if it is only to safe yourself and your guests a lot of possible troubles in the future.”
Well we all know what happened. Some people may have seen it coming others may have kept watching through their pink glasses. Nobody really knew at that time what could happen in the future, as there were different possible scenarios. Some of those scenarios were quite bad, as it could have ended even worse than it finally did. I mean, at that time even a civil war could have been a possible outcome. That is the reason why I personally would not have recommended to travel to Thailand.
At no point I ever mentioned Thailand being a dangerous country. You may have read my reply to Steeleast from November 30th.
Your words; “STILL my personal opinion is (and you can be sure, I will tell to everyone that askes for it) Thailand is as safe (or unsafe) to travel as it was last year.
Thailand is , was and propably never will be a "stable" nation under democratic-western standards.
Either I know that if I travel there and then I have to calculate about the risk of things getting turbulent ...or I don't know that and that makes me an uninformed twit...but than I can not blame others for my ignorance.”
This is your personal opinion and I do respect it, but I still do not agree with you. How can you say that Thailand is as safe as it was a year ago? Have you got a crystal ball and you can see the future? I personally think that Thailand is still a very unstable country right now. Things may have become more quiet for the moment being, but will it still be so tomorrow? Will the red shirts just accept the defeat or may they start what the yellow ones just ended? Would the army and police let the red shirts take over airports as well or would they intervene? Could this whole thing definitely get completely out of hand?
Since almost 20 years I have been visiting this country and there were always ups and downs, but as you said, they were just minor inconveniences. I do not think that in this last 20 years Thailand was ever so unstable that there could have serious troubles affecting tourism. I do not think that in those years it was more dangerous to travel to Thailand as it was to travel to Italy or Spain. But I think that right now we have a total different situation as nothing is predictable right now and it could become a dangerous place to be for tourists. Now I think that there is a serious risk of things getting out of hand. A risk I think that nobody can really calculate seeing what happened the last few weeks.
More of your words; “People are now looking for more safe place!
Like Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam!
What about Myanmar or North Korea??”
First, a question to you: “What is wrong with Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam?” I think that this 3 countries are quite stable at the moment being, even if you may not agree with there political situation.
Second, you mention Myanmar or North Korea. Well I guess that you were just making a joke here. I do not think that you would put the last 2 mentioned countries on the same level as the 3 ones before mentioned, would you?
“Some have placed Thailand on a list of the most dangerous places on earth, alongside CONGO and NIGERIA!!!”
Who has placed Thailand on that list??? I may have missed something here. But I do agree that Thailand’s international airports have been put on the top ten list for being the most dangerous in the world. Were else in the world can a mop just take over a top security airport without any resistance? If the yellow mop could do it, imagine what a well prepared and armed group of terrorists could do. There are serious safety issues regarding Thailand’s airports, and that can not be ignored.
Last week in Nigeria, 350 people died ON ONE DAY as christians and muslims clashed.
Where is the equivalent in Thailand?
And please...we are not talking about things that might eventually perhaps happen someday!”
Is it completely unthinkable that something like this could happen here as well?
“Yes...now tourism will suffer!
You are triumphant now!
Is there something wrong with you Doc? Congratulations??? I should be triumphant now??? Look, as a former tour operator for South-East Asia, as a tourist and as somebody who sees Thailand as his second home country, I am not triumphant at all. I would have loved to have been proven wrong and that the things which occurred the last few weeks would have never happened. I am very sad and sorry for Thailand and many of its people. It took years of hard work both from locals and foreigners to make Thailand a top tourist destination and much of this work has just been destroyed by a few self loving selfish people. It will take a lot of goodwill, hard work and money, to get Thailand back to the touristical top position it was and it honestly deserves to be.
“If this time, hotels wake up NOW and issue really cheap fares, tourists will return, the numbers will stabilize.
Profit will be smaller, but the numbers of incomming tourists will not be falling as suspected, IF companies react now.”
It may not be as easy as you put it. Do you realize that many airlines may think twice in the near future if they are going to serve Thailand as destination again. Will they be prepared to risk their planes and crews to be stranded or even worse, as long as airports in Thailand are listed as dangerous by IATA, FAA and ICAO?
Will tourists just forget and ignore what happened to thousands of stranded tourists here in Thailand and other parts of the world, as long as there are still travel warnings issued by their governments?
I think it will take more than just a few good and cheap offers from hotels to bring the confidence and the tourists back. I hope I will be proven wrong with my thinking.
“...and if peopel like YOU will not sit back and say "See! I told you!", but get their sleaves up and WORK!”
See, I told you! (sorry, but I could not resist it) And let me tell you that I wear short sleeves and I am retired. Not much influence I can take here. But be assured, that when things have settled back to normal in Thailand, I will be the first one to stand up for this wonderful country.
“And if PAD returns next week to close down the airport again?
Does that make Thailand an "unsafe" place to visist?”
No. But what it if gets out of hand? Can it not very easily become a very dangerous place? Who says it has to be the yellow shirts? I am more worried about the red shirts wanting to protest for their rights without having the army behind them.
“Maybe an inconvinient place...but nobody died or got hurt.
No tourist was touched...”
They may not have been physically touched, but what about the psychological damage done to the tourists? Does this not count? Can you not hurt people psychologically?
And sorry to tell you that foreigners did die as a result of the closing down of the airports. They have not been killed by PAD mop but some of them have been killed on road accidents trying to get to an airport from where they could leave the country. This dead would not have had to happen if they would not have had to transfer themselves to other places. So you could actually say that some foreigners did die as the consequence of closing down airports. Very unfortunately. My feelings are with the families and friend of the people killed unnecessary.
“You said as a responsible tour operator, you would not have recommended coming to Thailand since last August!
May I ask why?”
And you still insist asking me that question? Do you not think that I have answered it over and over again? Look Doc, this are just my humble opinions and points of few. I know you do not agree with me and that is something I can not change. You know, on the other hand your are not convincing me neither, that I am wrong.
To villager: are you not mixing up some totally different things here? There is a constitutional right to strike in the countries you have mentioned, so they are not doing anything against their laws. But occupying an international airport, is seen in most of the world as an illegal act of terrorism. Please let us not get carried away with emotions too much. This are two total different pair of shoes you are talking about.
P.S. to all the English teachers among us, in my reply to Doc I just copied his own words and spelling mistakes. I did not bother to correct them so do not blame me for them. Nothing wrong to blame me for my spelling and grammar mistakes.
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- Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:38 pm
maybe we should just agree to disagree.
Still I don't think that I am less responsible than you are.
...and NO ...I don't possesss a crystal ball.
That's why I am judging the situation as it IS and not as it eventually may be one day!
All your "what if's" (What if next time they go further and somebody gets hurt?) can also happen in any other country at any given time.
(Greece! Just last weekend!)
All the other mentioned countries are safe NOW...but...what if...that changes tomorrow?
I simply refuse to fan the flames of and for something that does not happen yet!
And just because you asked the theoretical question "what if the close Suvarnabhumi?" doesn't make you a prophet!
And if anyone has a problem with my english....it's not my mothertongue, so please forgive me!
- Posts: 73
- Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 7:00 am
“Still I don't think that I am less responsible than you are.”
I do not think so neither. I am sure that you are a responsible professional and you would not send any of your customers into harms way. Again, it was my mistake for partly messing this one up.
It is obvious that it is a quite different position being a tour operator or being a retailer. I have done both jobs, so I guess that I do qualify a little bit for giving my opinion here. My recommendations would have been made as a tour operator. The reason for it would have been the extra, unpaid workload coming your and your local representatives way, caused by such a thing as an airport closer , specially the ones in Bangkok, which came at a very busy time for a tour operator abroad. With the X-mas high season knocking on your door, what happened in Bangkok is your worst nightmare. The extra workload, to try to arrange things together with your locals, coordinate things with airlines, try to find suitable solutions for customers, trying to calm down friends and family at home of people stranded and so on must have been terrible for colleagues abroad and in Thailand.
So after the Phuket and Krabi airports blockade in August, which was nothing compared to what came in November, and the very explosive situation in Bangkok I would not have recommended people to travel to Thailand. Not because I could know what could happen in the future, but knowing what chaos it would be, if something would happen during or even before high season. I am still convinced, that after August it was a very realistic scenario that things could and would escalate. Of course nobody could know how much it could escalate or when it would be, but better be save then sorry. You must understand, that as a South-East Asia or Far East tour operator, you have thousands of customers to take care and not only in Thailand. So having alternative destinations at hand like Bali, you would not take the risk to ruin your days.
I know for an instance, that most of my friends back in Europe, did not have many customers stranded in Thailand, just because they played it safe. Would they have ignored the situation, than it would have been real bad for them. We speak about 15 or more work hours a day and half a million angry and worried phone calls. So Doc, you may call me a coward for not taking the risk or for not being prepared to do the extra work. But today I would tell you, that I feel like I did make the right decision not recommending Thailand for the time being.
I do not think that there is much more to say here, but of course, I would be happy to clarify my point more if it would be necessary.
You said that; “maybe we should just agree to disagree.” Fair enough, I could sign that and a want to say thank you for having this dispute with me without the two of us getting too crazy at each other.
Regarding your spelling mistake, well it was nothing against you, as English is not my mother tongue neither, but there are some English teachers out there, who like to find mistakes everywhere and I was just covering myself. To be honest with you, I just found your mistakes because I runn the correction thing, otherwise I would probably not have noticed most of them, other then the tipycal mistypnig.
And you are right, I am not a prophet at all, I just would have played it save for me.
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As I am working in tourism, no one really expects to hear my PERSONAL view, when I say, that I think Thailand is a safe and nice place to go!
Sure: I could have done without all the extra hours, getting people accomodated, who wanted to go home but couln't.
Sure: I could have done without the accusations of not "helping" anyone to get home!
Sure: I could do without the coming crisis in tourism, putting so many jobs at stake (including mine...and as I am not married yet, loosing my job might as well mean :Bye, bye Thailand!" to me...)
Sure: I could do without all the extra work after a Tsunami (extra work was the smallest problem , of course), during SARS or else.
But aside all that, I love this country.
I wish, people would get better informed before they come here.
If they did, "political unrest" would not shock them so much!
I have a lot of friends, buddies or people I know, who ask me, if they should come to Thailand and if it is safe (including my mom in April).
I tell them from the bottom of my heart: s*** can happen...but you would be quiet safe here, even if it did.
- Posts: 73
- Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 7:00 am
As stated previously by other posters, Thailand is as safe, if not safer than many other countries. (If you where in London at the time of the Toxteth riots in liverpool, would you go there to see them? And did it affect your stay in London)
Bad news always travels fast, for knowledgeble, informed people, they would know where to go and when. (and where to stay away from and why)
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- Location: Bangkok
Guess who just lost his job, due to dropping numbers in the tourism industry and a not too promissing future perspective!
...if anyone knows a tourism related job...PM me!
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