Bangkok, 14 August 2014–The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently organised a caravan tour as part of its Pak Thong Thiao Thai (flying the Thai travel flag) campaign for a group of special needs travellers, showing them the World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya as well as other local attractions, which cater for visitors with disabilities.
The trip was aimed at giving the special group, which included visually impaired travellers and travellers confined to wheelchairs, a fun and memorable travel experience and to show that living with the physically impaired does not mean missing out on the many historical sites and activities that Thailand has to offer. All around the country, many attractions are improving their facilities, infrastructure and access so they can be enjoyed by everyone including people with disabilities.
Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, TAT Governor said, “This Pak Thong Thiao Thai caravan tour is to show people with disabilities all over the nation that they are being catered for when it comes to travel. They can expect better access and facilities to meet their needs and attractions that make allowance for impairment. There are many families who have members with disabilities and we want them to be able to travel together and enjoy the same activities as far as possible. We have a duty of care for all our citizens and we want to show that we are meeting this commitment.”
Taking place from 9-10 August, 2014, the caravan tour was joined by 20 vehicles and 300 travellers. The first day’s itinerary took place in Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon where participants visited the Phra Chedi Chaimongkhon and the temple’s revered Buddha image. This was followed by a visit to the Monument of King Naresuan the Great where everyone was able to pay their respects to this great Siamese monarch.
The day’s activities came to an end with all the participants joining in with the “Pak Thong Thiao Thai” or planting the Thai travel flags, a symbol that physical impairment does not have to stop anyone from travelling in Thailand and enjoying what is on offer. In the evening, participants were invited to join fun activities at the Krungsri River Hotel, where they also spent the night.
On the second day, the caravan tour visited famous attractions including the Ayutthaya Historical Park, the City Pillar, Wat Phra Ram, Wat Mongkhonbophit, Wat Ratchaburana, and Wat Chai Wattanaram. The long day ended at Phuttha Uttayan Maharaj Park, which is currently being promoted as the newest “Unseen Thailand” attraction. There are special features incorporated into the site as well as access and facilities for people with disabilities so that they can get close to, and pay respect to the revered Luangphu Tuat image.
The Pak Thong Thiao Thai campaign is an important element of the “Fall in Love with Thailand” domestic tourism drive, through which TAT wants to encourage more people with special needs to travel in the kingdom. To support the project, TAT launched a sign-language travel manual on the website, www.tourismthailand.org and a Braille-language travel manual, which has been distributed to schools for the blind nationwide.
TAT’s “Fall in Love with Thailand” domestic tourism marketing campaign is currently being promoted to encourage Thai people to explore their country and enjoy its attractions throughout the year. In addition, TAT is focusing on “value added happiness” by promoting travel that will create fond memories and bring joy to tourists, as well as entertaining and educating them. For the month of August, when the nation comes together to celebrate Thailand’s Mother’s Day, TAT is encouraging Thai people to enjoy some of the Kingdom’s sights with their mothers and family.
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
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