350 MEDIA & TRAVEL AGENTS VISIT THAILAND ON “BEAUTIFUL THAILAND” MEGA FAM TRIP

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Bangkok, December 14, 2011 — To ensure a rapid recovery from the recent flooding crisis, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has invited more than 350 travel agents and journalists from around the world to come and see the all-clear situation for themselves.

As part of the “Beautiful Thailand” recovery campaign, the Mega Fam trip participants are visiting Thailand between 6-18 December 2011, and will fan out across different parts of the kingdom in order to send the message back to their clients, readers, viewers and followers that Thailand is back to normal and ready to receive visitors.

TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said, “We began working on this fam trip the moment we were sure that the flooding situation would clear-up in a few weeks. We are thankful to all our partners including our national carrier Thai Airways International, private sector and government agencies that responded quickly to our initiative.”

The Governor said that bringing in the media and travel agents would be the best way of ensuring that the positive side of the recovery is known to the world as soon as possible. “The global media reported on the unprecedented flooding crisis in their traditional newsworthy style, but now that things are improving, the media has moved onto other issues. So we have to step in and ensure that we use all the various forms of media, including our own social media networks.

We believe that the floods are now over and most of the tourist attractions and services in the flooded areas are operational and ready to welcome visitors. We need to get this message out to the travel community overseas as soon as possible. Therefore, the main objective of this Mega Fam trip is to provide first-hand information to the media and travel agents. Our major focus is now on bringing back tourists’ confidence to Thailand.” He said.

The group of 350 travel agents and journalists are from:

Europe: England, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, and Russia

ASEAN: Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam

The East Asia Region: Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China

Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China: Hong Kong

South Pacific: Australia

Middle East: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Iran, and Oman

Africa: South Africa

The Americas: America

There were a total of 22 countries, 1 SAR as well as domestic media.

The American group will visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya; the East Asian group will visit Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Hua Hin, Krabi and Pattaya; the ASEAN group will visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya, Chiang Rai, Ratchaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Nayok, Khao Yai, Suphan Buri, Samut Songkhram, Cha-am, Hua Hin and Pattaya, and the European group will visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya, Krabi and Phuket.

On 13 December 2011, the group was formally welcomed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Mr. Chumpol Silapa-archa, followed by a presentation on the Thai tourism industry, a live band and cultural performances. They also enjoyed a cocktail party at the Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort and Spa.

International visitor arrivals to Thailand by nationality totalled 17.1 million in the period January – November 2011, up by 21.17 per cent over the same period of 2010. The total arrivals can be broken down as thus:

North East Asia 4.30 million, up by 34.25%

ASEAN 4.90 million, up by 22.07%

Europe 4.40 million, up by 13.63%

Americas 0.85 million, up by 12.92%

South Asia 1.10 million, up by 19.77%

Oceania 0.83 million, up by 17.64%

Middle East 0.60 million, up by 7.69%

Africa 0.12 million, up by 11.84%

For 2011, the TAT is projecting 18.3-18.6 million international visitor arrivals with estimated revenue earnings of 703-716 billion Baht (US$ 22.7-23 billion) in tourism revenue.