A NEW BOOK that charts the development of Thai tourism over the past 60 years – Thailand Tourism: The Early Days – has been published by Dusit International, in partnership with Bangkok Bank, Boon Rawd Brewery, Central Group, Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Jim Thompson, Siam Piwat, Thai Airways, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
The book was written by Thailand-based journalist and lecturer, Steve Van Beek, and edited by Roy Howard, the original advertising manager of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited.
The book examines in rich detail the challenges faced by these early pioneers and, through profiles, anecdotes and quotes, underscores the need to preserve their stories.
Among the key figures profiled in the glossy, full-colour book are His Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajani, president of the Royal Project Foundation; General Prem Tinsulanonda, former prime minister of Thailand; Lt. General Chalermchai Charuvastra, founder of the Tourist Organization of Thailand; Niels Lumholdt, former executive vice-president of Thai Airways International; Dr Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth, founder of Bangkok Airways; Kusa Panyarachun, founder of Thailand’s first travel agency; Chin Sophonpanich, founder of Bangkok Bank; Samrit Chirathivat, founder of Central Group; and Thanpuying Chanut Piyaoui, founder of Dusit International.
A special section dedicated to Thailand’s royal family highlights how projects initiated by His Majesty the late King, Bhumibol Adulyadej, have had a positive effect on tourism.
Chanin Donavanik, Dusit International, hopes the book will not only help to preserve the stories of the early pioneers, but also inspire a new generation of hospitality workers to follow in their footsteps.
The travel industry is one of the most important industries in Thailand, and today employs almost 15% of the population and contributes 17% GDP to the Thai economy, said Mr. Chanin.
“I think it’s vitally important that the new generation understands what happened in the past, and how the risks and opportunities taken by the early pioneers ultimately shaped the industry as we know it today.
“In producing the book, we hoped to preserve the inspiring stories and wisdom of our forebears by featuring as many influencers from 60 years ago as possible.”
In keeping with Dusit’s aim to help boost hospitality education in Thailand, copies of the book will be distributed for free to schools, colleges and universities offering tourism, hotel management and culinary programs in Thailand. A free ebook, available in English and Thai, will also be available at www.thailandtourismtheearlydaysbook.com.
The book is also available at Asia Books and all Dusit hotels in Thailand, priced at 1,500 THB.
In remembrance of His Majesty the late King, all proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to the Royal Project Foundation, which helps to improve the living conditions of Thailand’s rural communities.
For more information visit www.thailandtourismtheearlydaysbook.com.