The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is using the WTM 2023 as a platform to launch its new ‘Meaningful Relationship’ marketing communication concept to a worldwide tourism industry audience as well as to celebrate winners of the Responsible Thailand Awards 2023.
Present at the Amazing Thailand Press Conference on 6 November were Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Ms. Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, and TAT Governor, Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, as well as TAT executives. The event was attended by members of the global media and industry professionals.
Miss Sudawan said “The Thai Government is committed to making the tourism sector become more environmentally friendly and applauds TAT’s establishment of the Sustainable Tourism Goals. The annual Responsible Thailand Awards also reflect our determination and enhance the image of Thailand as a responsible tourism destination.”
The annual Responsible Thailand Awards recognises the kingdom’s champions of sustainable tourism in six categories comprising 1) Animal Welfare, 2) Nature, 3) Marine and Heritage, 4) Community-based Tourism, 5) Hotel, Eco Lodge/Eco Hotel, and 6) Green Steps. This year, the winners are Mahouts Elephant Foundation, New Heaven Reef Conservation Programme, Kao Thep Pitak Community Restaurant, Devasom Khao Lak Resort, Elephant Hills, and Pattaya Elephant Sanctuary.
Following the Awards presentation, Ms. Thapanee delivered a media briefing and unveiled a new TVC on the ‘Meaningful Relationship’ communication concept.
Ms. Thapanee said “The new ‘Meaningful Relationship’ marketing communication concept is designed to encourage travellers to engage in a meaningful connection whether it is with themselves, the local people, the community, nature, or even with Thailand. When travellers form a relationship with the people they meet and the place they visit, they will have an opportunity of creating lifelong friends, cherished recollections, and enjoyable time.”
The concept will be incorporated into TAT’s ongoing promotion of Thailand as a sustainable and responsible tourism.
As well as the annual Responsible Thailand Awards, TAT has developed and implemented its own Sustainable Tourism Goals (STGs) in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations Development Programme.
TAT’s STGs encompass the entire Thai tourism industry in a Sustainable Tourism Acceleration Rating (STAR) system. Businesses that comply with the goals will attain a corresponding number of stars. Currently, there are 251 businesses with STAR certifications in Thailand.
Meanwhile, the biannual Thailand Tourism Awards has long signified the quality and excellence in Thailand’s tourism and hospitality operations. In the latest edition, this year awards included a new category of low carbon and sustainability.
TAT’s partner, the Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association (TEATA) in collaboration with Tourlink has developed seven carbon-neutral travel routes for travellers wanting to explore Thailand, while helping reduce the impact on the environment. Featured destinations include Bangkok, Ratchaburi, Phangnga, Trat, Phetchaburi, and the three Isan provinces of Udon Thani, Nong Khai, and Loei.
Along with sustainable and responsible tourism experiences to create meaningful relationships, TAT continues to shape supply and elevate quality in the areas of luxury, wellness, and secondary destinations. To promote Thailand to be an all-year-round destination for the long-haul market, the ‘Thailand 365 Days’ campaign will be launched to attract the flow of international tourists to explore the diversity of events and festivals as well as destinations nationwide.
Ms. Thapanee concluded, “TAT is delighted to work with all partners, both in and outside of the tourism industry under ‘Partnership 360.’ For the tourism sector, we will continue to collaborate with strategic airline partners and tour operators to increase air access and stimulate demand. TAT will also span and strengthen joint efforts with other sectors, such as trade, real state, banking, and investment. This way will promote tourism more successfully.”
For the UK market, TAT will place focus on potential segments with higher spending, a tendency to stay longer, wanting to explore local areas and care for the environment. These segments include luxury, wellness, responsible travellers, and repeater and first-timer – Millennials and new UK cities.
From 1 January – 31 October 2023, Thailand recorded over 21.6 million arrivals and generated over 20.61 billion Pounds Sterling (927 billion Baht). The top five markets are Malaysia (3,342,819), China (2,778,595), South Korea (1,313,781), India (1,283,340), and Russia (1,097,361), while the UK market contributed 617,017 tourists.
By the end of 2023, TAT expects to see around 80 per cent of the overall tourism revenue generated in 2019, or at 52.88 billion Pounds Sterling (2.38 trillion Baht). This includes tourism revenue of 33.33 Pounds Sterling (1.5 trillion Baht) from around 25-30 million arrivals. From the UK market, the expectation is 795,214 tourists and revenue of 1.37 billion Pounds Sterling (62,000 million Baht).
The 2024 target is set at total revenue of 66.66 billion Pounds Sterling (3 trillion Baht) with 42.66 billion Pounds Sterling (1.92 trillion Baht) coming from the international market. From the UK, the target is 940,000 tourists and revenue of 1.88 billion Pounds Sterling (84,860 million Baht). (TAT)