NECTEC and TMC are moving to reverse the downturn in tourism by putting small hotels online. The tourist industry in Thailand has been hard hit by the global recession, concerns over the flu pandemic and political unrest. Small hotels especially have suffered falling reservations and hotels and guest houses have cut their workforce by as many as 10,000 a month since the beginning of the year, seriously impacting the lives of workers in the industry

Thailand’s economy depends heavily on tourism and The National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) with the Technology Management Center (TMC) are responding to the Science and Technology Ministry’s call to create jobs and improve the quality of life, by initiating a project to promote online systems for smaller hotels. Those hotels that do not yet have their own web sites will be given training in constructing and updating their own sites and in connecting to existing travel and hotel web portals. That, in turn, will expand their markets, reaching a much wider base of potential customers. NECTEC will provide e-commerce advice and encouragement to those hotels that already have web sites, with expert analysis of web sites and evaluations of site effectiveness through a web clinic. The purpose of these efforts is to give tourists from abroad greater familiarity with small hotels and the ability to make and change reservations online, thus expanding the market and enhancing competitiveness. Going online would also lower costs by allowing hotels to do their own marketing.

The project will be initiated in the July-August timeframe and cover popular tourist destinations such as Bangkok, Patthaya, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. An increase in revenues of at least 20 percent is projected for the first year, with continuing increases in subsequent years.