TAT outlines 2013 objectives
BANGKOK, 17 July 2012: Attracting first-time visits will be the main thrust of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s marketing strategy for the fiscal year 2012/2013 the agency reported Monday.
It will build new travel arrivals on the appeal of a Thainess experience, while attempting to make domestic tourism a core value for Thai people to strengthen year-round travel distribution throughout the country.
TAT’s action plan 2013, based on a fiscal budget effective 1 October, this year, will support the government’s goal to achieve Bt2.2 trillion in tourism related revenue by 2015.
TAT says the country could host 22.22 million international tourists, this year, generating Bt966 billion in revenue or US$30.62 billion. This is based on an exchange rate of Bt31.54/ US dollar.
Around 60% of all visits are repeat business and TAT now says it wants to work on building a stronger flow of first-time travellers.
The domestic market should generate 107.4 million trips and revenue of Bt453 billion (US$14.36 billion) next year.
“We are basing our marketing on Thainess as a leading factor to attract first-time travellers to Thailand,” said TAT governor, Suraphon Svetasreni. “This characteristic will also play an important role for the tourism industry to remain competitive once the ASEAN Economic Community opens as it will distinguish us from other tourism players in the region,” he added.
The core concept in the action plan lies in the theme “Higher Revenue through Thainess.” It will seek to present the charm of Thai people linking it to an experience of Thai ways and culture through travel products.
Some key aspects that will come into play to demonstrate Thainess are: Thai lifestyles (rice farming, massage, Thai cooking and meditation techniques); Thai boxing; Thai classical dance and Thai local wisdom, all used as distinct selling propositions.
Niche tourism market is another key factor in the action plan next year. TAT aims to attract high-spending tourists by tapping four segments identified as health & wellness, weddings & honeymoons and green tourism.
Other key areas in TAT action plan are identified as DISCO:
• Digital marketing – new digital media will be the main channels due to the increasing number of users, mostly young people. However, this trend is slowly cutting across all demographics. TAT will continue to use these powerful tool to encourage a decision to buy a Thailand travel experience;
• Image building – due to strong competition from both emerging and established destinations, worldwide, TAT will use global media especially sports and special-interest TV channels to build image;
• Sustainability – there is more concern about the environment and economic gains from tourism must be balanced with environmental wellness. Therefore , TAT will continue to promote ecotourism;
• Crystallisation & crisis management – there is a need to improve information management systems and build on the success of the tourism intelligence unit and crisis management centre to monitor data on unexpected situations.
• Organisation Management – at the heart of the implementation process marketing plans need to be executed and evaluated. Therefore, it will continue to upgrade delivery skills of staff and system.
Mr Suraphon added that when the unexpected happens usually the country can rely on domestic tourism to make-up for a decline in international arrivals.
“Our goal for domestic tourism this year is to change the perception of travel from thinking it is a recreational activity or to show off our financial status to be viewed as a necessity.”
The domestic tourism campaign will have links to national identity using the slogan “New Thinking. New perspectives – Travel in Thailand can yield more than you think.”
Last year, Thailand welcomed 19.23 million international tourists, up 20.67% from 15.93 million in 2010 with tourism revenue of Bt776 billion (US$25.45 billion), up 31% from 2010 above the country’s target of Bt716 billion (US$23 billion).