Higher tourism standards urged

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Learning to cook Thai food and plant rice are interesting activities some tour operators offer to tourists.

Tourism leaders have urged hotels and local businesses to improve the quality of their products and services to help create brand awareness in the international market and reduce costs in the long run.

Udom Srimahachota, vice-president of the Thai Hotels Association’s (THA) western chapter, said operators, especially small and medium-sized hotels, travel companies and local businesses, need to improve their products and services to enhance competitiveness.

Thailand is a leader in hospitality service in Southeast Asia with plenty of attractions.

However, low competitiveness could mean Thailand lags among emerging markets, notably Vietnam, said Mr Udom.

Operators should prepare to cope with the changing tourism landscape by building their own brand and securing trusted national or international standards.

Several standards have been created for high-quality standards, with certificates such as the Thailand Tourism Award or Kinnari Award, which is certified by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and offered every two years.

The Green Leaf Awards for hotel business is granted by Green Leaf Foundation and Hotel Ratings, judged by the THA.

“Because tourists and travel operators in many countries seriously consider the standard of products and services and many of them prefer working with certified operators,” Mr Udom said.

Last year, a total of 312 operators, mostly big companies and organisations engaged in tourism business such as tourism support and promotion agencies, tour programme, tourists attractions, accommodations and health tourism received the Kinnari Award.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the Kinnari certification could help bring operators to the attention of foreign alliances and bring tourists into the country.

“The creation of valued-added tourism products and services through Thailand Tourism Awards is set in the vision of the Asean Tourism Strategy Plan 2016-2025,” Mr Yuthasak said.

Read full article at Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/tourism-and-transport/1451494/higher-tourism-standards-urged

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