The Tourism Authority of Thailand has unveiled a package of online marketing strategies designed to take advantage of the rapidly-growing social media networks and attract millions more viewers and visitors to Thailand in 2013.

Speaking at the December 13 launch, Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand said that the TAT’s online marketing strategies plan for 2013 would be one of the cost-effective means of reaching the growing legions of consumers for whom mobile gadgets have become an indispensable part of life.

He said the dual-language social media tools would include a broad variety of “infotainment” tactics, combining both information and entertainment messages targeted at domestic and international visitors.

The TAT has been well ahead of the game in taking advantage of the marketing opportunities made available by these new mediums, Mr. Suraphon said. “Our job is to promote the country’s tourism attractions and drive business for our private sector. Online technologies allow us to do both efficiently and effectively.”

The plan will see TAT boosting cooperation with leading online channels such as Facebook, Google (Street View), Trip Advisor and Zizzee.

At present, there are over 1 billion Facebook users worldwide or 44% of worldwide internet users worldwide. By 2013, facebook users are estimated to grow to 1.5 billion worldwide (not including other social network such as twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest etc.

In 2012, the TAT main website www.tourismthailand.org recorded more than 130 million page views and 20 million visitors. Across all the social media channels, the TAT sites recorded more than 530 million impressions and 50 million visitors.

TAT also launched a new online community called “Amazing Thailand On Line” app which has chalked up 80 million users worldwide. The sticker has recorded more than two million downloads.

Trip Advisor is claimed to be the world’s biggest website with real-time advice for travellers and reviews of products and services. TAT has gained the rights to take reviews from Trip Advisor and publish them on TAT main website; this will help to improve the quality of information and also increase the number of website visitors and pageviews of www.tourismthailand.org  website.

With Google, the TAT is using the “Google Street View” which allows users to explore places around the world through 360-degree, panoramic view, and street-level imagery. At present, it can be used to view the three most popular tourist destinations of Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket