BANGKOK, 13 June 2019: The Tourism Authority of Thailand spelt out its marketing plans and strategy in simplified ABC and the role TTM will play going forward.
Using last week’s Thailand Travel Mart Plus platform to engage with international buyers, TAT elaborated on its policy to drive tourism to secondary destinations.
The plan unfolds with the creation of inter-linked, theme-related travel routes that will help to distribute visitor flows from the gateway cities to spread tourism benefits nationwide.
The champion of the ABC strategy, deputy governor for marketing communications, Tanes Petsuwan, said the campaign theme of ‘New Shades of Emerging Destinations’, underscores the agency’s long-standing efforts to promote emerging destinations, create jobs and distribute revenue countrywide while achieving sustainability.
“Thailand offers a choice of 55 emerging destinations to visitors seeking exciting new experiences that will appeal to international and domestic markets,” the deputy governor said.
In 2018, the identified destinations recorded 6 million (6,223,183) trips by foreign tourists, a growth of 4.95% over 2017, but the challenge now was to ensure they gained a bigger slice of the tourism pie that will exceed 40 million tourists this year.
Tanes claimed the entire concept of positioning Thailand as a ‘preferred destination’ was designed around offering quality products and services to travellers through unique local experiences while balancing quantity and quality and at the same time achieving the perfect mix of marketing and destination management.
The Thailand Travel Mart founded more than 20 years ago to provide a promotional opportunity for tourism players who could not afford to attend major trades shows.
Now TTM has even a bigger role to ensure secondary destinations are not forgotten or promoted as sideline attractions.
But the message of World Environmental Day found its way into the deputy governor presentation as he outlined the way forward for TAT’S marketing campaign.
“Responsible tourism is what we will now emphasise to achieve our long term goals. The key will be to manage arrivals and hammer the urgent need to be environmentally consciousness in every sector of tourism.”
Looking forward, he lined up the ABC strategy adopted to ensure both clarity and simplicity and provide the tourism industry with a clear set of milestones on the journey to sustainability.
A for Additional: Link major and emerging cities: Connect major destinations to nearby emerging cites. For example, in the North, tourists can travel by car within an hour to Lamphun and Lampang from Chiang Mai. Likewise, on the Eastern Seaboard, Pattaya can be linked to Chanthaburi and Trat in the East.
B for Brand New: Promote new potential emerging cities: Some popular destinations can be individually promoted thanks to their strong identity and positioning. For example, Buri Ram in the Northeast has a rich Khmer heritage and is also becoming a regional hub for domestic and global sports events since the opening of the Chang Stadium and Chang International Circuit.
C for Combined: Integrate emerging cities: Some emerging cities can be promoted in combination due to their proximity, shared histories and civilisations. For example, Sukhothai with Phitsanulok and Kamphaeng Phet would make an outstanding historical route while Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung are grouped for enriched Southern civilisation.
TAT adopts simplified ABC Strategy to enhance the focus on emerging destinations. Tanes noted that some of the emerging cities are already seeing a growth in international tourist arrivals over the last few years.
Chiang Rai: Since the globally publicised cave-rescue of the ‘Wild Boars’ youngsters, this northernmost province has become the most visited emerging city. Extremely popular with Chinese visitors, Chiang Rai is enriched with cultural gems and natural wonders such as the White and Blue Temples, as well as the famed royal project at Doi Tung.
Trat is a rising beach-hideaway destination for island hoppers especially young Europeans, led by the Germans. Popular islands include Ko Chang and Ko Kut.
Sukhothai is a magnet for history-buffs, as it was the first capital of the Kingdom and the Sukhothai Historical Park is acclaimed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This destination has become increasingly popular with French tourists.
Nong Khai on the Mekong River is popular with border-crossing Laotians and foreign tourists. A gateway city to the Mekong countries, it is on the same route is Udon Thani, which boasts the Ban Chiang Archaeological Site, a World Heritage Site since 1992.
TTM Plus is now the recognised venue where emerging destinations can engage with the international travel trade.
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