At an event held at Bangkok’s Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel this week, Carlos Vogeler, the UNWTO’s executive secretary of member relations, said he believed Thailand would recover from the incident.
“I would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the affected people, and reiterate our support to the people of Thailand. Thailand has a long tradition of being a hospitable and welcoming country and we fully believe it will continue to be so,” said Vogeler.
In a further gesture of support, UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai will visit Thailand later this year, while Thailand has also been chosen as the host country for the UNWTO’s World Tourism Day 2016, which will be held next September.
“Thailand is not alone,” said Vogeler. “All these actions and directions show our solidarity to reiterate that Thailand has our full support.”
Thailand’s Minister of Tourism & Sports, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, thanked the UNWTO and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which also attended the event, for their support.
“I do believe that the impact from this tragic incident will be short term and that Thailand will bounce back very quickly thanks to good friendships of our friends,” said Ms Kobkarn. “The UNWTO and WTTC have taken immediate actions to reaffirm their confidence in Thailand through international media.”
David Scowsill, WTTC president & CEO added; “It is highly regrettable that Thailand, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, has been the target of this violence. Fortunately, Thailand has shown its resilience in the past from national disasters and other disruptions, and we hope that the situation will stabilise and return to normal very quickly.”
The selection of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel for this week’s event was symbolic; the hotel is located just steps away from the Erawan Shrine, where last week’s bomb was detonated.