Thailand’s Oriental Hotel Caught Up in Law Suit

25th March 2008 (Last Updated March 25th, 2008 09:33)

One of the world's highest-ranking hotels - Bangkok's Oriental hotel - is embroiled in a defamation suit filed by a competitor, the first lawsuit for Thailand's hospitality industry. In the lawsuit, The Oriental's general manager Kurt Wachtveitl is accused of defaming Bangkok's lebua h

One of the world’s highest-ranking hotels – Bangkok’s Oriental hotel – is embroiled in a defamation suit filed by a competitor, the first lawsuit for Thailand’s hospitality industry.

In the lawsuit, The Oriental’s general manager Kurt Wachtveitl is accused of defaming Bangkok’s lebua hotel in an internal memo warning that the competitor was on the prowl for qualified hotel staff, writes Associated Press.

In the memo, sent in 2006, Wachtveitl said the lebua poached 26 employees from The Peninsula Hotel, another five-star competitor, in two months and expressed concern that The Oriental could be targeted next.

According to The Nation newspaper, the lebua has filed two complaints, including a criminal case accusing The Oriental of forwarding the memo to general managers at nine other Bangkok hotels.

The lawsuit stands to harm the reputation of hotels across the country, according to the Thai Hotels Association.

The lebua opened in early 2006 in downtown Bangkok and has made headlines through several high-profile publicity campaigns while The Oriental, which opened in 1876, is situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and has been a favourite of visiting celebrities.

By staff writer