Six years ago – The constant tourism flow of the country have been deluding the real status of public relations in Thailand. Despite its successful tourism campaign, Most Thai local companies, institutions, and organizations have difficulties communicating its brand, especially the non-Thai audience. This is because the people heading most PR divisions have little clue on international communications. But if that is the case, how is the tourism campaign, which strives in the international market, so successful? It’s because of the product itself, Thailand’s beaches need no further words. The images speak for itself: pristine beaches, smiling Thai ladies, and their tourism slogan ‘Amazing Thailand’. The image of the beaches itself appeals to the tourists, the Thai ladies gives them a clue that it is in Asia, and the slogan confirms, it is in Thailand. The rest is up to them to research how to get there, and other details. Thanks to the accessibility of information brought about by enhanced technology, the tourism campaign was a success, otherwise, it would have just been just another poster.
Present day – Still the country that has capitalized best on its image among the different countries in Southeast Asia, Thailand have been consistently visited by millions of tourists for decades now. But is international public relations in Thailand any better? It is still the same, and here’s why.
It has to be blamed on Thailand’s education system. It feeds a deep-rooted culture of superiority among Thais, that they have almost nothing essential to learn or gain from foreigners. They have not dedicated or exerted themselves to learn English. Even in international gatherings where their capital hosts, communication to the international media is difficult. Annually, the BMA or Bangkok Metropolitan Administration holds a press conference for Travel Journalists. Surprisingly, there were some consecutive years that they show the exact same forty-five minutes slideshow, with the same messages. When the organizers were asked for any new messages, the answer was far-fetched, and when later asked to clarify, they only apologized for not understanding the question since it is English.
With Thailand’s new market right now, the Thailand Medical Tourism, it is still apparent that they have not yet learned their lesson. Being a foreigner, searching for a good medical institution is hard to do online, that you have to decide to just maybe go there to personally check. Or maybe that is their way to get tourists, they feed curiosity.