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TAT’s new tourism strategy is “SEXY”

Caitlin Ashworth



Stock photo by Sumit Chinchane for UnSplash

“SEXY” is the name of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s new recovery strategy to move forward after the Covid-19 pandemic. While it sounds provocative, there are no hot deals on strip clubs or go go bars… there’s really nothing sexy about the travel concept.

The strategy focuses on implementing public health safety practices, promoting environmental sustainability such as wildlife conservation and clean ups, offering new travel experiences and drawing in high spending tourists.

Here’s how they got the word “SEXY”:

S stands for safety and hygiene.

E stands for environmental sustainability.

X stands for X-tra experiences.

Y stands for yield… basically revenue from high spending tourists.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn says the 4 key focuses under the “SEXY” plan reflect its goal to restore tourism under the new normal measures.

“This will help restore travellers’ confidence, while driving recovery for both the Thai economy and the tourism industry to make a comeback stronger than ever.”

“Together, TAT and Thai tourism stakeholders will reshape the image of Thailand with core messages highlighting the importance of safe and sustainable travel.”


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  1. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 2:56 pm


    when it can’t get any crazier, the Tourism Authority of Thailand never fails to outdo themselves!

    Last week they were pushing vaccine vacations with medical jail on top of it.

    Pls tell me this the Thai sense of humor…. they can’t be serious.

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 6:20 pm

      No, no, no, believe it or not they are damn serious ! They even do and try their very best !

  2. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    getting harder and harder to watch this foolishness….

  3. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    “drawing in high spending tourists” Thailand never was never is and newer will be such destination for simple reason.They have little to offer and if have the service is overpriced and questionable quality.There was always mixt of people from low budget to the high.If anybody wants to change it will never succeed.In fact for 1 year without tourist nothing has change for better.Environmental disaster…

  4. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve travelled for years. With the exception of crossing the street in HCMC, I’ve always felt safe. If you don’t like taking risks, then travelling probably isn’t for you.

  5. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    They don’t know what the word ethics means.

  6. Avatar

    Anl Lam

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    Never fails to amuse me that TAT is doing a CYA. If you are a falang business type, this is a term used to justify your excistance.
    TAT is loosing financial input. To me this is simple Too Much Input, and Very Little output.
    I wonder what planet the designer of this program was allowed to even be in a position with TAT.

    • Avatar


      Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 3:41 am

      Mi fan quasi tenerezza per la poca chiarezza! Premessa: adoro la thai e ci torno almeno una volta all’anno ma la strada del paese da turismo luxury l’han persa da tempo. Non vorrei che cambiassero! Tutto il sud-est Asiatico (ad eccezione si Singapore che a parer mio comunque costa meno che Milano) é incredibilmente low cost per un europeo.. Figuriamoci per un australiano o un americano. Anche per questo hanno avuto numeri di incrementi turistico che fan gola anche a Francia e Italia. Che si decidano!!

      • Avatar

        Roger C

        Friday, February 5, 2021 at 10:34 am

        Claro que si.

  7. Avatar

    Oik piggy, piggy!

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    Somehow this brings to mind an overly fat pot-belly pig with lipstick. SEXY…well, maybe! But most definitely someplace you never want to visit twice and only a faint trace of remembrance of what Thailand once was…a fun, vibrate, exciting land that once existed prior to the incompetent, Orwellian, droll sanctum it has become! SEXY simply reflects the new sad state of the world…sad!

  8. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    Military ruler to TAT boss: you have to draw in more tourists but keep the quarantine in place. TAT boss to wife: I am at a loss, they are asking the impossible from me. Wife TAT boss: Don’t worry, I ask my friends in the gym. Next day. Wife to TAT boss: My friends all agree that making the beaches more sexy by going topless will flock tourists back to LOS. TAT boss: That’s great, why didn’t I think about this. TAT boss to military ruler: sexy…. sir, make it SEXY. Military ruler: What? Don’t waste my time. Your position is a stake here, you understand? Please explain what do you mean with sexy?

  9. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    How can he be so dumb ????

  10. Avatar

    Joe Schmo

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 4:57 pm


  11. Avatar

    Robert Bunker

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    May seem a little off the wall but why not try this TAT / Prayuth ? Stop talking and just f%^&ing do something. Has worked wonders this last month in UK (albeit Johnson and Co are incapable of not talking sh%t) with the actual roll out of something that will bring results.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 1:21 am

      How about STFU and do nothing unless i) the experts agree and say so, and ii) it makes a constructive difference?

      … and that applies equally to Johnson & Co in the UK who are currently risking stuffing up the only thing they got right (take a risk, spend money you don’t have, and buy any vaccine you can get) by making medical decisions against the manufacturers’ advice and outsourcing the vaccination programme to private incompetents rather than the marginally less incompetent NHS, as it does to the TAT.

  12. Avatar

    Tim Houston

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    Do Thai people have their cheeks red like us whities when being ashamed or embarrassed ?

  13. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Who’s the target for this? If it’s Thai tourism operators, then why do they have a strategy written in English with an English acronym? They don’t do business in English do they? Just curious as it seems strange to me.

  14. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Hmmmm……Really??? Let’s be realistic for just a moment….. In this pandemic world, what can any country really offer? What can any tourist destination really offer? Like it or not, now is not the time for tourism. In reality, if we want to get back to something like what we used to hope for (before this pandemic), there needs to be widespread vaccination. There needs to be widespread recognition of the fact you have been vaccinated. There needs to be a way to rapid test people. There is light on the horizon…… I feel for my friends in Thailand…..

  15. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Maybe they’ve been inspired by Elon and his ‘S 3 X Y’ Tesla range?

  16. Avatar

    P D N

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    Despite visiting Thailand many, many times in years gone by, I certainly won’t be returning to Thailand in 2021, and very likely not in 2022 either.

  17. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    Total bs.

  18. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    Good luck with that. If the numbers increase they will claim credit, and if the numbers stay same or drop, they will forget about it and then launch another program/hub. Amazing place Thailand.
    But seriously, local tourism from Bangkok is their only hope. International tourists in any number are unlikely til much later in year – unless vaccines dont work – then maybe 2022.

  19. Avatar

    Anh Lam

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    So why was my comment sensored and published? It was not vulgar, or discriminating as well as reason not to post.

    You ask for a comment, i gave it. Now give me a reason why you took it off.

  20. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    WOW, This sounds super sexy…….Who needs viagra when your this hard…….

    S stands for shit

    E stands for everthing

    X stands for exit

    Y stands for you all

  21. Avatar

    brian mc

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    put an end to speedboats ploughing over divers and snorkellers and ferrying hoards of non swimmers to trample all over the reefs then s and e will be done.
    the lack of tourists has had a positive affect on the environment and wildlife already.
    look for a new industry thailand

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 8:42 pm

      The fishermen didn’t have a positive effect. On a weekly basis we are removing fishing nets from coral reefs on popular dive sites. The fishermen have gone wild now there is nobody around.

      A better name for the Thailand tourist strategy would be BLA BLA.

    • Avatar


      Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 3:43 pm

      That’s exactly what I thought, Brian. But I fear that whenever the hordes come back, new tons of concrete will spoil the islands and beaches, new wild landfills will stink, new scammers will be on the prowl around the tourist asstactions – unmolested by the TAT, of course. Just to be clear, I don’t blame ordinary Thai people for that. Many of them are poor and tourists give them an opportunity to make ends meet, with the environment or ethics being of the least importance to most of them.

  22. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    I don’t think I will get trampled in the rush.

  23. Avatar

    Malc Thai

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    Why not vaccinate all of the 460k population of phuket.. then open up the borders of phuket only with no quarantine.. if more thai people are needed to work here because the tourist’s are flocking back then they get the next vaccine shots.. this will only be short term until the rest of Thailand is vaccinated.. surely that would help with the economy and bring tourists in without the “14 day Jail term” as some people put it

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 10:35 pm

      Things may have changed since the last time I was there, Malc Thai, but I don’t recall Phuket being self-sufficient.

      What happens when you run out of petrol, Singha, Johnny W and rice, and the markets and Tesco shelves are empty?

      • Avatar

        Malc Thai

        Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 10:54 pm

        Your probably right Issan John.. when we had full lockdown of the island and even patong roads were blocked the fuel got in. although the delivery drivers were totally isolated on the delivery, same with the post and big c deliveries. the drivers didn’t get out of the lorry cabs they were unloaded by staff here.. as you say it probably wouldn’t work on every delivery needed

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 1:34 am

          I wasn’t trying to be facetious, Malc Thai, at least not much, so thanks for appreciating that.

          What you’re suggesting actually works / could work / would work in places like the Seychelles and the Maldives as it’s a different scale and the islands / resorts can be isolated and supplied / tick over far more easily, but I just can’t see how it could be maintained for any length of time in somewhere like Phuket.

          It’s not just stopping the virus getting IN to Phuket, but also stopping the virus getting OUT of Phuket if vaccinations don’t end transmission. sufficiently

      • Avatar


        Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 5:51 pm

        Trucks can arrive by road after control on Covid, and Phuket still has a port for cargo and fuel.

    • Avatar


      Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 5:45 am

      Malc, seems Phuket is thinking just that. Today there is a story at, which is referencing a story from Bloomberg with pretty much that exact plan. Phuket want’s to allow vaccinated international travelers to return with no quarantine starting October first this year. The plan is for the Phuket businesses to purchase enough doses to vaccinate at least 70% of the island population by the first of September. The rest of the details are vague, and of course the plan needs approval from the government first.

  24. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Y-yit’s never gonna work

  25. Avatar

    Johnny's Rotten

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    It’s a brilliant idea. If future tourists spend twice as much as they usually do, even if half the usual number if tourists come twice as much money will be made. Simple. I’m not sure how it will work out for the thousands of Thai people who’s business models’ typically garner transactions of B30-B100

  26. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Clearly nothing but a marketing gimmick to justify their budget. After all the earliest Thailand will drop the quarantine is 8-10 months from now. As for marketing, it’s not very good. The S everyone is going to do, Thailand will not be unique in that regard. The X is too vague, just something to start with the letter. It all comes down to the E and the Y. If Thailand was serious about environmental sustainability they wouldn’t already be courting the Chinese to return. The Chinese are the epitome of unstainable mass tourism, which itself is a danger to the environment. It’s like inviting locust to your wheat field after a two year drought. As for yield, that’s a mixed bag at best. Yes the Chinese spend more per day, but less per person because on average they stay half as long as westerners. If yield is important, you go with more per trip, not more per day. More importantly it’s what they spend it on. The term zero-sum tourism was invented because of the Chinese and it’s still applicable. Even the Chinese independent travelers practice it to a large degree. A few months ago on this site there was an article about how the Chinese independent travelers mostly stay in Chinese owned rental condos and homes when vacationing in Thailand. They use Chinese tour guides who are working illegally in Thailand and buy mostly western imported goods to bring back to China (which is large reason their economic multiplier is lower). Like I said, it’s a way to justify their budget.

  27. Avatar

    Number Six

    Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 8:12 am

    SEXY… hilarious… More like SNAFU

  28. Avatar

    Andy W

    Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 11:33 am

    TAT really like their buzz words.
    If they want a better (wealthier) class of tourist then the need to stop bleeding about ‘Eco’ and start cleaning up the garbage, especially the mountains of plastic on beaches and wasteland.
    But the number one thing they need to do is stop the corruption that wealthier people know is the biggest hinderance to Thailand becoming a rich persons regular holiday destination.
    Especially the corrupt Politicians and Police. Unfortunately that won’t happen…

  29. Avatar

    Mel Burn

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 1:44 am

    Tourists will not come as long as there is quarantine. And for a long term stay air pollution is a deal killer

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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