In line with its focus on attracting more “quality leisure tourists”, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) this week formed a new partnership with GTA.
The ‘g meet 2016’ event at the InterContinental Hotel Bangkok on Tuesday (23 February) gathered some of the region’s key travel providers. Following sessions discussing the current situation and future of the Thai travel industry, these companies made to pledge to help Thailand’s tourism industry.
Companies involved included Starwood, AccorHotels, JTB, MakeMyTrip, Minor Hotel Group, SiteMinder, Onyx Hospitality Group, Thai Airways, Tuniu, DerbySoft, Far East Hospitality, AIS, Compass Hospitality and Caissa Touristic.
“Thailand is one of the world’s most desirable and dynamic tourist destinations. It is therefore fitting that we are here today to announce such an important partnership with the Tourism Authority of Thailand,” said Ivan Walter, CEO of GTA.
“We believe that through our partnership, we will be able to encourage more upscale travellers to visit Thailand and appreciate indigenous travel experiences – lavish accommodation and personalised unique on-the-ground excursions. But most importantly, we want people to enjoy pleasant interactions with Thai culture, its environment and its greatest asset, the Thai people,” he added.
Thailand welcomed a record 29.88 million international visitors in 2015, but moving forward the TAT is focusing on attracting more “quality tourists”, boosting its tourism revenues and extending its visitors’ average length-of-stay. The country is targeting an 8% increase in tourism revenues this year, to US$66.5 billion.
Addressing Tuesday’s event, the TAT’s deputy governor, Juthaporn Rerngronasa said that she wants to position Thailand as a “quality leisure destination”, using the concept of “Thainess”, or Thailand’s unique cultural traits, as a key selling point.
The country is also aiming to leverage its geographical position in the ASEAN market to “position Thailand as a weekend destination”, Ms Juthaporn said.
The TAT also used the GTA event to showcase some of its new marketing initiatives, including a video advert aimed at attracting luxury travellers, and its ‘Amazing Stories’ campaign, which will feature a series of online tales based on various themes, such as romance, gourmet, heritage and entertainment. It is also aiming to drive more domestic tourism through its expanded ‘Hidden Gems’ campaign.
Thailand’s recent tourism rebound is being primarily driven by Asian travellers, and most notably, the Chinese market. Of the 29.88m visitors to Thailand in 2015, more than seven million came from mainland China.