With announcements from the Thai government and TAT now saying that they do not feel that international visitors will come to Thailand this year perhaps it is time for Thai businesses to realise that they need to embrace what they have and appeal to those that can effect their businesses in the next 4/5 months…
I chose to live my life in Thailand
Who knows when international tourists will arrive with their deep pockets to stay in your 5 star hotels.
For years we have been informed that tourism only contributes 11/13% of GDP. Who are they trying to kid? Try including the true drip down figure that takes in the restaurant and service industries, massage parlours, street touts, souvenir business, tours, the real estate business and those that in turn supply the hotels, restaurants and the airline industry. Then reckon upon in excess of 22/23% of GDP.
As a European expat that has ’temporary’ settled in Thailand – I call it my home. But the Thai authorities make sure that I am not too settled – despite the fact that I came here 14 years ago and all I have done is spend and invest money in Thailand.
I left the UK in 2006 after I had sold my business, my goods and chattels and eventually my property and invested that money in to Thailand. I have bought condos, built houses, had a succession of cars, motorcycles and invested everything that I have earned since and indeed before whilst in the UK here. I love Thailand and the people. The climate, the food and I respect the monarchy and the administration. I try and live my life with honesty, dignity and the high moral standards that I was raised with.
I have a constant stream of friends and family from overseas that come to visit me, affluent – most Thais would refer them to, who in turn come here and spend their holiday money and annual savings here in Thailand.
Yet despite all of this I am constantly reminded by the administration, authorities and Thai people that I am an outsider – ‘a farang’.
My CSR community magazine is run like a charity. We do not have charitable status as that is incredibly difficult to attain in Thailand because of all of the money laundering businesses that past administrations have turned a blind eye too. However all of my 70 plus writers are unpaid and I draw a minimal salary to keep within the law.
My expat friends and I create this magazine to raise awareness, exposure and ultimately funds for Thai charitable foundations. We publish Expat Life in Thailand to engage and connect with others and to represent the international residents that work for Thailand in Thailand. We just wish that the Thais would accept us for what we are.
The next issue of Expat Life deals with Women’s Health. The copy date is the 20th August.