The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is sending the message to the worldwide travel and tourism industry that the ‘Always Warm’ Thailand has fully reopened again to international tourism and that the kingdom is moving towards more sustainable and responsible tourism, while reiterating the ‘Visit Thailand 2022-2023: Amazing New Chapters’ campaign, as part of its 41st participation at the World Travel Market (WTM) 2022.
Speaking at the Amazing Thailand press conference held yesterday (7 November), H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, said, “After the pandemic, sustainable and inclusive growth have become the focus in Thailand’s tourism sector. So we promote and adopt the Thai government’s Bio-Circular-Green or BCG Economy Model to engage the community and use its strength to create value-added products and shape out experiences. This is to help reduce the impact on the environment and promotes responsible practices among all.”
The WTM has long been an important stage that Thailand first launches new global marketing campaigns. For 2023, TAT will continue with the ‘Visit Thailand 2022-2023: Amazing New Chapters’ campaign to invite tourists from around the world to come discover both existing and new travel possibilities in Thailand, and in doing so to ‘write their own chapters’ which they can share with family and friends and also encourage them to visit.
Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, said, “We wish to deliver fresh travel experiences through new segments like sustainable and responsible tourism, health and wellness and remote workers, while highlighting Thailand’s strength in nature, food and Thainess. We aim to create a meaningful travel experience that will not only be meaningful for travellers, but also for the local communities and the environment.”
As the strategic leader in driving Thailand towards this goal, TAT is focusing on getting sustainable and responsible tourism to be embraced by all involved – from the travellers and the communities to the entrepreneurs and the suppliers. These have been done through various ongoing initiatives, including the Seven Greens Concept, and promotions of emerging destinations and weekday travel to decongest popular destinations and low-carbon destinations, such as Ko Mak in Trat, which has been recognised as Thailand’s first low-carbon destination. TAT is also working with the Thai Organic Consumer Association to drive sustainability in gastronomy tourism through organic tourism.
WTM 2022 marks the first time ever TAT is using sustainability as the criteria when selecting sellers to participate in its B2B marketing events. TAT will be using this model with all future events to select sellers based on sustainability related projects, such as waste management, energy consumption management, or if they have received recognition relating to green or sustainable tourism.
Thailand is also being promoted as a world-class wellness destination, with a wide range of health and wellbeing experiences on offer, from fitness and anti-aging programmes to holistic and traditional treatments by professional specialists, and spas, resorts and other facilities throughout the kingdom that are known worldwide and have global standard accreditation.
The Thai government is also planning to promote Thailand’s beautiful Andaman coastline as the ‘Andaman Wellness Corridor’ – with Phuket already well established as a wellness destination, and the other Andaman coastal provinces like Krabi and Phang-nga planning to develop a public healthcare system, a medical community, a senior care centre and patient care centre. Phuket is bidding to host the Specialised Expo in 2028.
Mr. Chattan said, “To boost the high season, TAT is launching the “Always Warm” winter campaign to drive sales and increase flights and seating capacity during the peak or winter season, as tourists are looking for a place to escape the cold. We want to invite travellers to Thailand, a place that is always warm. Thailand is well-known for its warm and sunny weather, and warm Thai hospitality.”
Strategic marketing campaigns will be launched to bring more visitors from existing markets like the UK and Europe, as well as new markets like Saudi Arabia and large secondary cities in the USA through partnerships with airlines.
As part of the campaign, the TAT London Office is carrying out joint marketing with partner tour operators and charter tour operators like Trailfinders and the Flight Centre, and also launching advertisements promoting the “Always Warm” campaign. In addition, the TAT Frankfurt Office is working with EVA Airlines to launch a new Munich-Taipei-Bangkok route in November, to help boost European arrivals.
Thailand has now fully reopened to international tourism, and since 1 October, 2022, visitors are no longer required to show proof of vaccination or ATK test results. The period of stay has also been extended (through until 31 March, 2023) to 45 days from 30 days for tourists from countries/territories entitled for visa exemption, and to 30 days from 15 days for those eligible for a Visa on Arrival (VOA).
For the period of 1 January-26 October, 2022, the total number of visitor arrivals to Thailand was 7,349,843 and tourism revenue generated amounted to 378 billion Baht. With the traditional high season of October to March now in play, around 1.5 million tourists are expected to arrive each month, and according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, the number of seats into Thailand has risen to over 573,000 per week for the winter airline timetable (30 October, 2022-25 March, 2023) – up 74.2 per cent from the summer timetable.
TAT is confident the 2022 full year target of 10 million international arrivals and total tourism revenue of 1.5 trillion Baht will be met – representing 50 per cent of the total income from tourism revenue of the pre-pandemic era.
For 2023, the TAT is forecasting 20 million international arrivals and total tourism revenue of 2.38 trillion Baht, around 80 per cent of the tourism revenue generated in 2019 – with 1.5 trillion Baht coming from foreign tourists. (TAT)