TAT welcome back mat
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has revealed its latest programme, Thailand Welcomes the World, which aims to rebuild travel confidence after the flood in Central Thailand and Bangkok.
Friday 23 December 2011, 10:11AM
TAT Deputy Governor of Marketing Communications, Prakit Piyakiat, laid out the programme, which includes an attempt to make the sometimes dour experience of going through immigration a rather happier one.
The project will recruit 70 staff who will be trained to assist visitors at immigration counters at the country’s international airports. To be eligible the staff will need to be fluent in Chinese, Japanese or English.
Their main task will be to explain the visa process to visitors and ease them through immigration. A frequent complaint by visitors is that immigration officers lack skills in welcoming people and presenting a positive image.
The most frequent complaint is that immigration officials are poor ambassadors for the so called “Land of Smiles,” as they rarely smile.
The welcome staff will have access to computers with internet connections and telephones near the immigration checkpoints. They will also have 10 golf carts to ease transfers for elderly or physically challenged passengers.
The service is already available for passengers who pay a fee to the Airports of Thailand, or travel first class with certain airlines. It was also offered to Thailand Elite card holders but that privilege has been suspended.
“We hope to create a great impression, a warm and helpful welcome,” said TAT governor Suraphon Svetasreni.