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Skal Club Scraps Phuket Congress

05 Mar, 2020

BANGKOK, 5 March 2020: The 49th Skal Asia Congress due to convene in Phuket 25 to 28 June falls by the wayside, making it the latest victim of the Covid-19 crisis.

Phuket Skal Club president, Richard Valentine, confirmed the cancellation in an email that also copied clubs around the region.

With slightly more than 100 days left according to the club’s website, Valentine said cancelled registrations, health concerns and the financial repercussions if attendance dropped below a forecasted 200 led to the decision.

Delegates who have already paid their registration fee can claim a refund. It remains uncertain whether the club can host the event next year.

Unless there is a significant downgrade in the public health risk level, it is highly unlikely the event could reschedule to later in the year. Also, another destination is currently claiming the right to host the 2021 event, which suggests negotiations to reach an amicable resolution are now on the cards.

Meanwhile, no news is good news from the Tourism Authority of Thailand that is giving no hints on whether it will cancel the TTM 2020, its annual trade show also lined up for Phuket this June.

TTM 2020 moves to Phuket for the first time after two years hosted in Pattaya.  As it stands the show that usually attracts around 350 buyers and 370 sellers will convene at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa.

TAT is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and hopes to have a packed calendar of celebrations including consumer travel and trade events.  But high profile celebrations and gatherings are now up the air as the Covid-19 outbreak spreads to around 70 countries with 11 of them on a high-risk travel list released by Thailand Ministry of Public Health this week.

The ministry has stipulated that travellers who have visited any of the 11 high-risk countries in the last 14 days will need to self-isolate on arriving in Thailand. If that rule remains in place during June, it will discourage travel buyers from France, Germany, Italy, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Japan from attending.

In response to email questions from TTR Weekly, a high-ranking TAT official commented: As of today, TTM+ 2020 is on course to be organised from 1 to 3 June in Phuket as scheduled. An internal TTM+ meeting will be held on 12 March and the TTM’s status will be discussed again then.”

TTR Weekly

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