Thailand Looks to Quality, Trendy Tourists to Boost Tourism Revenue

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has come up with the marketing strategies for 2008 with wedding couples and young travellers as the target groups from places like Japan, Scandinavia and China.
The authority’s governor, Phornsiri Manoharn, said the TAT would relax its concentration on the number of tourists visiting Thailand, and instead try to attract visitors with higher income who will spend more. She also added that the TAT will be focusing on quality tourists, rather than quantity, so that means searching for other alternative groups from around the world.
The agency is aiming for a 10 percent increase in revenues from inbound tourism over the Bt547 billion expected this year. Revenue from the domestic market is expected to grow by 4.5 percent over this year’s projected Bt377 billion.
The authority’s deputy governor for international markets, Jutaporn Reungronasa, said Thailand could draw more “trendy” tourist groups, including wedding couples, the double-income-no-kids (Dink) market and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transvestite (GLBT) group.
“The TAT believes it will achieve its targets of 14.8 million international tourists and 82 million trips within the domestic market,” said Phornsiri, adding that the agency would soon launch a new campaign, together with 500 private operators, offering discount cards for domestic travel during the rainy season.
The authority is planning to market domestic travel on a regional basis. History and culture along the Chao Phya River will be used to promote the central region for tourists from throughout the country. The North will be marketed for Lanna culture and natural scenic sites, to attract local travellers for overnight stays.
The Eastern region will be promoted as the gateway to Cambodia and Vietnam, because of current efforts to boost the exchange of tourists across the borders.
The South will be singled out to attract a rebound in international tourism. The TAT plans to encourage airlines to fly more charter services into the South.
There is also a different subject on this week’s agenda. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is proposing the TAT limit the number of tourists to some destinations, including Koh Chang, Koh Samui and the Amphawan Floating Market in Samut Songkhram province because it believes they are being too badly affected by mass tourism.

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