Thailand Promotes Community Tourism
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has shifted some of its marketing strategy to focus on unique local experiences, according to a report on www.travelmarketreport.com.
Speaking at a recent event, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, said that the “people to people” aspect of tourism throughout the Kingdom is vital and community-based tourism can enhance the quality of life for local people by boosting the local economy and strengthening the social fabric of individual towns.
Part of the TAT’s marketing efforts are aimed at encouraging visitors to get off the beaten track and tourism officials are keen to promote lesser known destinations in north east and central Thailand, as well as encouraging people to explore beyond the well known tourist areas in more popular destinations.
Many of Thailand’s luxury private villas are situated in less developed areas, often well away from the beaten track. This means these properties serve as the ideal base for visitors keen to explore the Kingdom’s local communities.
The TAT has projected that 35 million overseas visitors will arrive in the Kingdom this year, so offering a wide variety of options for traveller is essential.
“Thailand is still a popular destination,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, at the recent Thailand Travel Mart in Chiang Mai. “Stability and improvements in the economy mean more foreign visitor arrivals. There’s clearly a demand, and it’s up to us to accommodate everyone who wants to come.”
Tourism revenue in the first quarter of 2017 has already exceeded projections with markets such as North America showing surprising growth. The Canadian sector is also performing strongly. “Canada is a high yield market,” said Jittima Sukpalin, TAT’s executive director for the Americas. According to date, many Canadian families and newly-weds travel to the Kingdom for an idyllic tropical retreat. The Canadian market received a recent boost thanks to the introduction of a new air transport agreement between the two countries that allows Thai airlines to serve any city in Canada.
According to Mr Molzan of Goway Travel, a travel agent based in North America, Thailand has plenty to offer visitors. “The Kingdom really does have it all, from the indigenous communities, jungles and elephant conservation areas in the north, to the rich history of the central areas, to the limestone karsts and coral reeds of the south. What really sets Thailand apart from other amazing destinations is that it’s affordable, too.”