The Tourism Authority of Thailand and Meta Thailand launched ‘Rediscover Thailand’, an augmented reality experience that highlights some of Thailand’s key tourist attractions through Meta’s platforms, in partnership with Thailand’s Creative Economy Agency (CEA), the Thailand Creative and Design Center (TCDC), Holowisp, and Thailand’s Meta Spark AR creators.
Running from 2 to 30 November, 2022, at the TCDC in Bangkok, the ‘Rediscover Thailand’ AR exhibition showcases nine innovative AR effects designed and developed by five Thai AR creators from Thailand’s Meta Spark AR community: Pansavuth Khehasukcharoen, Wanisara Chompoorat, Opas Sang-ue, Keetapol Boonprachak, and Sufee Yama. Their works reflect unique cultural highlights and rich diversity from various Thai regions.
Open to the public, people can encounter cultural experiences, like the Northern region’s Bo Sang Umbrella Village and traditional Nora dances of the South, virtually and interactively, allowing them to explore the natural and cultural wonders of the country while tapping into future technology trends.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “The partnership between TAT and Meta shows that we prioritise our commitment to creating value and elevating the tourism sector by building a new tourism ecosystem, particularly through the adoption of new technologies that help push Thailand towards high value and sustainable tourism. This will boost Thailand’s tourist demand and inspire tourists to pursue meaningful travel in the future.”
Meta and its partners are spotlighting the beauty of Thailand’s culture and tourist destinations, as well as its creative economy, through this ‘Rediscover Thailand’ programme. This is in support of Thailand’s hosting of the APEC 2022 Economic Leaders Meetings in Bangkok later this month, under the “Open. Connect. Balance” theme, which aims to innovatively restore connectivity and boost sustainable growth following the impacts of the pandemic.
Mr. Simon Milner, Vice President, APAC Public Policy at Meta, said, “With Meta’s commitment to build the next social technology, it is our pleasure to see ‘Rediscover Thailand’ come to life today; this creates momentum for us to move forward on the road to the Metaverse. The work we and our partners showcase in this campaign demonstrates the infinite applications of AR/XR across work, play, and in advancing social, cultural, and economic causes, as in the use case for the tourism sector. I think the Metaverse will unlock a lot of opportunities for many industries across the board.”
The ‘Rediscover Thailand’ programme is aimed to help uplift the country’s tourism and economy in a creative way, while reinforcing Meta’s commitment to aid local businesses and communities by leveraging digital tools that can help them pivot and recover. It also reflects Meta’s commitment to help people reconnect and open the world once more to trade and tourism. According to Meta, more than 10.3 million people in Thailand have made over 38 million posts and comments about travel across Facebook and Instagram in the last 90 days.
This initiative further highlights how Thais have embraced technology and the tremendous potential of Thailand’s Creative Economy, as a recent study shows that 72% of Thailand’s population is going digital by the end of 2022, and 74% of Thai survey respondents saying that they have used at least one metaverse-related tech – such as augmented reality, virtual reality and NFTS – in the last year. Moreover, according to Meta, as of October 2022, Thailand is among the top 10 countries globally with the highest number of active Meta Spark AR creators, of which 58% of the Thai creators self-identify as women.
Mr. Pakawat Korsriphitakkul, Co-Founder of Holowisp – a creative AR agency, said, “These AR virtual routes will allow users to experience the destination even if they did not actually travel. This will not only include the physical space, but also the various people, cultures, and traditions that exist.”
Mr. Lerchart Thamtheerasathian, Director of Knowledge Development, Creative Economy Agency (CEA), said, “The application of creativity and technology to different use cases – from driving social causes and accelerating the economy, to shifting culture – will be key in advancing Thailand’s creative economy vision. CEA is honoured and excited to be a part of Meta’s ‘Rediscover Thailand’ programme, which provides an avenue for Thai creators to showcase their work, as well as helps support the recovery of Thai tourism by making it fun and accessible through online engagement via AR technology.”
As part of the ‘Rediscover Thailand’ campaign, Meta is also organising a skills building workshop called “Meta Spark Creator Connect” for 75 AR creators from around the world and in the region, including Thailand, to educate and grow the Meta Spark Global Creator community and build the ecosystem leading to future tech in Thailand.
As Thailand continues to develop its digital and creative economy, such campaigns would contribute to moving the country towards the metaverse, enabling more connections, unlocking great opportunities for people and communities, and transforming many sectors in the future.
To experience the ‘Rediscover Thailand’ AR effects online via mobile phone, go to the @TourismThailand Instagram Page and explore the ‘effects’ tab. For an in-person experience, visit Rediscover Thailand – an Augmented Reality exhibition – open to the public for free, from 2 to 30 November 2022, 10.30-19.00 Hrs. every day except Monday, at the Thailand Creative and Design Centre, Bangkok, Front Lobby, Fl. 1.
For more information about the Rediscover Thailand AR effects, AR creators and stories behind-the-scene visit fb.me/rediscover-thailand. (TAT)