The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched a Good Host Programme to raise awareness and hospitality standards among tourism stakeholders in the country.
The Good Host Programme provides extra training for public and private sector employees through seminars that impart new ways of improving tourism products and services.
Knowledge sharing and practical training will also be used to teach participants on how to impress visitors and exceed their expectations about Thailand and its offerings.
Meanwhile, with mascots dressed as smiling fish and a police rock band, authorities launched a “Happy Zone” at the weekend to improve the image of a city notorious for sex tourism.
Stung by foreign headlines portraying the seaside resort of Pattaya as “Sin City” and “The World’s Sex Capital”, Thailand’s government has begun a new effort to re-brand it.
But the contradictions in Pattaya highlight Thailand’s challenge in tackling a side of its tourist industry that remains economically vital while being officially excoriated.
“I want people to see that we are not like what they say. We are not allowing prostitution in these entertainment places,” provincial governor Pakkaratorn Teianchai told reporters on the infamous Walking Street in Pattaya, southeast of Bangkok.