The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in partnership with a Thai delegation is participating in the Tourism EXPO Japan 2022 (TEJ 2022), which is taking place in Tokyo from 22-25 September, 2022, with the aim of rebuilding this key visitor source market to Thailand.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said “The Tourism EXPO Japan 2022 is a wonderful opportunity for TAT and the Thai tourism industry to reiterate our ongoing ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022-2023: Amazing New Chapters’ campaign. At the same time, our presence at this largest tourism promotion event in the region allows us to make significant ground in efforts to rebuild the important Japanese market with the chance to meet and update both the Japanese travel industry and the general public.”
Participating together with TAT in the Thai delegation to TEJ 2022 are seven hotel operators and three travel companies. At the Thailand booth, which has the theme ‘Thailand Green Tourism – Amazing New Chapters’, the members of the delegation will conduct a total of 21 business appointments during the trade days, in addition to participation in an international tourism forum and travel showcase.
Throughout the show, the Thailand booth will also be holding Thai cultural performances and promoting Thailand’s move towards promoting sustainable tourism, and socially and environmentally responsible tourism, including workshops on making bags using upcycling seine and making paper using elephant poop from Elephant POOPOOPAPER Park in Chiang Mai.
Ahead of the TEJ 2022, TAT also organised on the evening of 21 September the ‘Amazing Thailand New Chapters Reception’ in Tokyo to promote the “Visit Thailand Year 2022-2023: Amazing Thailand New Chapters” campaign. At the reception were H.E. Mr. Singtong Lapisatepun, Ambassador of Thailand to Japan, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, and Mr. Ohata Takahiko, President of the Overseas Tour Operators Association, other TAT executives, as well as the Thai public and private sectors, both from Thailand and in Japan.
The reception was attended by local travel agencies and other Japan travel industry partners along with Thai and Japanese media, who were given an update on Thai tourism by members of the Thai delegation and were treated to Thai cultural performances, including a Khon masked dance drama.
The event was also used as an official stage to introduce the popular idol group from Japan, the Sato Triplets, as a ‘Thailand Tourism Ambassador in Japan’ – a project in line with the TAT’s strategy to leverage the kingdom’s 5F soft-power foundations of Food, Film, Fashion, Festival and Fight, to promote Thailand in key tourist source markets through the popularity of famous artists and celebrities from those markets.
Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and South Pacific, said “For the Japanese market, TAT aims to focus on all market segments, including repeat tourists, Bleisure (business + leisure) visitors, golfers, lady worker groups, and elderly tourists, as well as new high potential market groups, such as those who love Thai dramas, especially the Boy Love and Oya-Rich groups.”
TAT is using five new strategies to help rebuild foreign tourism to Thailand from markets like Japan. This incorporates New Segment – to penetrate new markets; New Area Searching – for quality tourists in new potential areas; New Partner – with new tourism industry alliances; New Infrastructure – taking advantage of new transportation routes to distribute tourists; and New Way – presenting a new way of tourism that focuses on environmental protection.
While growing the core market base, such as Millennial Gen X and Silver Age, TAT is also focusing on expanding the special interest market base, such as health and wellness groups and sports tourism groups, as well as niche market segments like digital nomads.
The Japanese market is an important one for Thailand. In 2019, a total of 1,787,185 Japanese tourists visited the kingdom and generated income of 93,759 million Baht. With Thailand fully reopening to international tourism and Japan relaxing outbound travel requirements, TAT is aiming to rebuild the Japanese market to 70% of the 2019 figure – or around 1.25 million arrivals – by 2023.
Helping in achieving this goal is the end of the winter season in Japan, and the resumption of Thai AirAsia’s four weekly flights on the Narita-Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok) route from 5 June, 2022, three weekly flights on the Fukuoka-Don Mueang (Bangkok) route from August, 2022, and the planned resumption of four weekly flights on the Chitose (Hokkaido)-Suvarnabhumi route, and seven weekly flights on the Kansai-Suvarnabhumi route in October 2022.
The TEJ is the region’s largest tourism promotion event organised by the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) and Japan Travel and Tourism Association (JTTA). Now in its 34th year, the TEJ 2022 being held at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition centre comprises two trade business negotiation and press days on 22-23 September and two general public days on 24-25 September. It is expected at least 200,000 people will attend the event. (TAT)