Manila, 22 January, 2016
Thailand announced at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) that it will pursue an aspiring target to grow tourism revenue to 2.41 trillion Baht (66.5 billion US dollars), extend travel connectivity to neighboring countries and take its high flying travel show, the Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2016 (TTM+ 2016), to North Thailand for the first time.
Addressing the media attending the ATF, Friday, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor, Dr. Yuthasak Supasorn, outlined a determined strategy to expand tourism revenue, while promoting travel options that combine Thailand’s top destinations with travel opportunities in neighboring countries.
The strategy also touched on strengthening niche tourism, particularly the luxury travel, female travelers and community-based tourism to a global audience. Achieving a quality, balanced tourism experience was the core theme of the TAT Governor’s address to the ATF media attending the Thailand Briefing.
“This year we will focus less on visitor arrivals and more on achieving quality tourism targets,” he explained. “Our marketing strategy for international markets will position the kingdom as a quality leisure destination through Thainess.”
He defined “quality” as measured by visitor expenditure, average length of stay, and the overall delivery of a valuable visitor experience.
Compared with 2015, when the country earned 2.23 trillion Baht in tourism (1.44 trillion Baht (42 billion US Dollars) in international tourism and 0.79 trillion Baht (23 billion US Dollars) in domestic), this year TAT is forecasting tourism revenue of 2.41 trillion Baht (USD66.5 billion) with 1.56 trillion Baht 43 billion US dollars earned from international tourism (USD43 billion) and 850 billion Baht from the domestic market (USD23.5 billion).
According to preliminary figures from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Thailand attracted 29.88 million tourists in 2015, up 20% on 2014.
To refresh the country’s travel options in global markets, the TAT Governor also presented a strategy to work with neighboring countries to promote “Two Countries One Destination” packages emphasising on connectivity with Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR. and Vietnam.
Overland trips will be promoted under the tagline “Crossing 2 Checkpoints, Travelling in 2 Countries” by initially combining historical attractions in both Thailand and Cambodia.
“The tour has been designed in a way that allows visitors to fully use new cross-border highways and international border checkpoints,” the Governor explained.
Supporting overland travel initiatives, TAT recently sponsored a “Mega Caravan to ASEAN” that introduced media and travel trade representatives from Asia to the world of road travel that links Thailand, Lao PDR., and Vietnam to Cambodia.
On the introduction of the ASEAN Economic Community, earlier this month, Dr Yuthasak noted it would help to “promote travel throughout the region, improve accessibility via highways and low-cost airlines and enable tour operators to introduce their clients to new destinations in ASEAN.