Expedia and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced their new partnership to promote Thailand, and in particular regional cities outside of Bangkok, such as Chiang Rai, Koh Lipe, Mae Hong Son, Tran, and Trat at a signing ceremony TAT HQ in Bangkok this morning.
With tourism providing up to 10% of Thailand’s annual GDP and 7% of jobs, there is no discounting the potential of the new relationship between the two organisations as Pimpawee Nopakitgumjorn, the director of market management at Expedia Group pointed out in her address to the media:
“Generate more job opportunities and narrow income gaps”
“Expedia Group has been working closely with the primary destinations in driving year-round inbound traffic to Thailand. This MOU will forge a strategic collaboration that supports the TAT’s Action Plan to drive visitor flow to Thailand’s secondary cities, and help the country maintain its tourism leadership position in the Southeast Asia region.
This is aligned with the country’s goal to develop its tourism industry ecosystem in an aim to generate more job opportunities and narrow income gaps between urban and rural areas.”
Nopakitgumjorn went onto outline how Expedia planned to help local hotels and resorts in these locations: “Through Expedia Group’s technology platform such as the Partner Central tool, hoteliers can boost their digital skills in revenue management, gather and respond to guest feedback more efficiently and better manage online reviews. ”
The relationship will also see Expedia share their insights into the movements and habits of its users to the region to give TAT an extra boost when creating promotional campaigns going forward, as well as upcoming joint campaigns promoting Thailand’s less obvious and unique tourist attractions to Expedia’s 675 million monthly users.
“Promote the unique beauty of 55 secondary destination cities”
TAT governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, said: “TAT has a vision to become the leader in promoting sustainable tourism in Thailand. We launched campaigns aiming to increase both domestic and international tourism early this year. TAT also launched the latest campaign ‘Amazing Thailand Go Local’ to promote the unique beauty of 55 secondary destination cities to travellers worldwide boasting each city’s unique features which we believe will meet the needs for the diverse range of tourists coming to Thailand.
This collaboration with Expedia Group, through the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding, will help boost tourism to secondary cities and also align with the government’s domestic tour personal income tax break campaign in 2018, aimed to promote tourism in these areas.”
Other aspects of the cooperation include a joint corporate social responsibility campaign aimed at enhancing environmental consciousness among hotels in Thailand and reducing the use of single-use and general plastic items in their properties.