TAT outlines its Action Plan 2019

BANGKOK, 11 July 2018: Thailand will continue with a tourism strategy that promises to drive visitor flows to lesser known destinations and provinces, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand Action Plan for 2019.

TAT unveiled its Action Plan for 2019, Monday, to a travel trade audience stating its policy would continue to shift visitor flows to provinces that register less than 4 million annual trips.

The plan also addresses negative impacts from over-tourism and identifies ways to ensure Thais have the means to travel and enjoy their own country.

Commenting on the Action Plan TAT governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, told a press conference TAT would face enormous challenges in 2019, as it seeks to strike a better balance in promotions. It will focus more on the economic value of inbound visitor arrivals, while addressing the challenges of socio-cultural and environmental impacts.

He said inbound tourism arrivals would need to be maintained, but monitored closely, so strategies could be adjusted in line with economic trends.

Thailand will focus more on short-haul markets to offset global economic risks, focus more closely on specific customer segments and monitor behavioural changes and demand trends. It will also need to make better use of digital technologies, especially the opportunities presented by Big Data, to maintain momentum.

The governor identified marketing priorities set out in the action plan.

Foodie tourism
Use food to reach out to local communities and experiences. The Michelin Guidebook 2019 will be used to promote Thailand as an outstanding food destination. A second book is supposed to be published this November.

Future activities will follow the Michelin Food Festival 2018, the first of its kind for high-end street food of Thailand, featuring chefs from Bib Gourmand Michelin star restaurants. This project will target ‘foodies’ and family travellers, both Thai and foreigners.

Brand value
Enhance brand value through content marketing. Apps such as “Knowing Thai” will be used to attract “gurus,” who can be recruited as storytellers on Thai society, religion, history, culture and food.

Tackling waste
Create environmental awareness by organising more waste disposal activities. Increased tourism arrivals also increase the volume of garbage.

In 2018, TAT organised 83 clean-up projects, which reduced the amount of tourism-generated waste by an estimated 10,000 kilogrammes.

Next year, TAT will place more importance on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by introducing environmental awareness to its working system, both within and outside the organisation.

Travel routes
Boost travel and branding at secondary tourist destinations by creating travel routes that encourage travellers to move from primary to secondary cities.

This will be accomplished by improving links between primary and secondary cities.

There are also opportunities to improve branding and promoting secondary cities as well as combining secondary cities together in clusters.

TAT’s latest plan identifies key market segments such as senior citizens and female travellers, who are showing good growth in terms of both volume and purchasing power.

There is also a plan to attract more travellers in the Gen Y or the Millennial segment (17-36 years).

TAT will promote Thailand as a “Weekend Destination” in short-haul markets

2019 targets
TAT says the target is to increase tourism revenue by 12% in international markets, and 10% in the domestic market.

The branding theme will continue unchanged with the “Amazing Thailand: Open to the New Shades” campaign by presenting “The Millions of Hidden Shades”.

Balancing the drive to increase revenue and remaining a tourism leader in Southeast Asia is pivotal. The governor said it was imperative to maintain natural resources and local identity, and also prevent damage due to uncontrolled growth of irresponsible tourism.