Tourism ads pulled after Asia horrors

The tsunami that devastated Asian coastlines on Boxing Day has forced travel companies and tourist boards to rethink their marketing.

The Thailand Tourist Board has delayed an outdoor campaign, due to begin this week, until at least the end of the month. Cathay Pacific has pulled a 16-page full-colour tabloid, partly focusing on Asia and scheduled to run with The Daily Telegraph on January 16, while it talks to featured travel companies. Kuoni Travel is editing stricken countries from its press advertising until conditions stabilise.

A spokesman for the Thailand Tourist Board says it is also considering the use of its slogan, “Thailand – happiness on Earth”. News channel BBC World also pulled the Maldives’ sponsorship of its hourly weather bulletins on Boxing Day.The traditional heavyweight Christmas television advertising campaigns from major tour operators Thomas Cook, First Choice and Thomson have been running as normal. Representatives say that the advertising is generic and not destination-specific.

A spokeswoman for the Association of British Travel Agents says the UK tourist industry is regarded as very resilient and one of the first markets to return to destinations hit by disasters.

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