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TAT to focus on tourist spending, not numbers

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET TOWN: Juthaporn Rerngronasa, The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s returning deputy governor for international marketing, has unveiled several strategies to approach a range of potential markets this year.

Mrs Juthaporn was reappointed to head the international marketing department following an internal management reshuffle supervised by new TAT new governor Suraphon Svetserni.

“This year, the authority will not aim at luring higher numbers of visitors, but will try to encourage visitors to spend more money while staying in the country,” she said.

The agency would approach targeted markets through online and new-media channels, which are cheaper than conventional advertisements. Younger travelers in developed countries are the target, she added.

The TAT has also prepared a new campaign – ‘Amazing Thailand Amazing Value’ – that is aimed at shoppers from across the region. Moreover, it will promote new tourist attractions to lure repeat visitors.

“What we have found is that the characteristics of Thai people and services attract repeat visitors. Thailand is like no other place in the world,” she said.

The agency will also produce more testimonial series to help promote tourism after noticing that English Premier League football team Liverpool’s recent visit to the Emerald Temple in Bangkok lured many of the team’s followers to the Kingdom.

The new tourism ambassador, famous Japanese golfer Ryo Ishikawa, was invited to help the TAT reclaim Japanese travelers this year. The Japanese market was one of the biggest decliners last year due to the political chaos in Thailand.

According to Mrs Juthaporn, the TAT will also promote Thailand as a center of medical tourism. The Middle East is the main target. Moreover, “green tourism” campaigns are planned to appeal to tourists from Europe, where environmental awareness is high.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry on Friday said it was confident of reaching its tourism target of 16 million arrivals this year, up from 14 million in 2009.

Minister Chumpol Silapa-archa said officials had invited private associations to propose projects and marketing plans to take advantage of the recovery of the global economy.

Mrs Juthaporn said the government was prepared to extend waivers on visa fees for travelers, as well as parking and landing fees for airlines, which are due to expire at the end of March.

“Some airlines resumed operations to Thailand last quarter. Virgin Australia operates flights to Phuket. Korea’s budget airline, Jin, is flying into Bangkok. Tiger Air of Singapore is adding services to Haad Yai and Krabi. Seasonal charter flights from Scandinavia and Russia are operating to Phuket and Pattaya, too,” she added.

For the domestic market, the TAT will go further with its national campaign, “12 months 7 stars and 9 suns”, with ads featuring Thai superstar Thongchai “Bird” McIntyre.

“Although we paid a high sum to get him [Thongchai], he has the ability to stimulate a huge tourism movement,” said Mrs Juthaporn.

— The Nation

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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