London, 7 November 2016 – Designed to fit in with the “Year of Sustainable Tourism Development” proclaimed by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) for 2017, the “Unique Thai Local Experiences” campaign is being extensively publicized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) at the World Travel Market 2016, one of the world’s largest travel trade shows being held from 7 to 9 November, 2016, in London.
The Thailand’s participation at the WTM 2016 was graciously presided over by Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana who took time to visit the Thailand Pavilion and see the many exhibits, as well as presented the Thailand Green Excellence Awards.
TAT has been participating in the WTM since its inception in 1980. This year, the Thai contingent includes 48 exhibitors including high-quality hotels, health and wellness facilities, as well as world-class food and beverage outlets, which are embedded with giving a touch of Thainess and local experiences to their guests.
This year at the Thailand Pavilion, Thai sellers and TAT staff are welcoming visitors by offering a touch of Thai Local Experiences in various interesting activities. At the demonstration under the story of ‘Thai Rice, Thai Life’, visitors can learn about the local life of Thai farmers through virtual reality like they are actually travelling in Thailand and sample rice tea and a snack while trying a hand rice milk scrub.
Also, they can join in a Thai pronunciation challenge in a ‘Pa-Sa-Thai’ (Thai language) machine to see how best they can pronounce like the locals and win and take some souvenirs.
At the Thailand Networking Lunch session, H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports said, “We are here at WTM 2016; this means life goes on in Thailand with the strong intention to follow in the King’s Footsteps. Now it is Thailand’s sharing period. We would like to thank our friends from all over the world for standing by us during this period of time.
All events, festivals and sports tournaments and cultural traditions, will be going ahead as scheduled though a sense of respect and appropriateness will be maintained, as well as to ensure safety and security for tourists coming to the Kingdom.”
In recognition of His Majesty’s multifarious duties of national sports, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has planned to turn Thailand into a sporting hub by promoting and supporting regional and international sporting events and tournaments; such as, the Air Race One flying test event, the Laguna Phuket Triathlon 2016, the Thailand Equestrian Princess’s Cup, the Jet-Ski King’s Cup, and the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta.
Moreover, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports working closely with the Ministry of Public Health, has launched a ‘Visit Thailand Enhance Your Healthy Life’ campaign for medical tourism, as well as joined hands with TAT to attend significant world medical trade events and roadshows.
In 2017, TAT aims to offer “Value for Experiences” to travellers coming to the Kingdom by focussing on “Unique Thai Local Experiences” to the world. In line with the Thailand 4.0 model, TAT will highlighting a value-based economy driven by innovation and looking to be a creative economy delivering creative tourism. TAT has also initiated the LINK project in which ‘L’ represents Local Experiences; ‘I’ for Innovation; ‘N’ for Networking and ‘K’ for Keeping character.
This is aimed to promote the local tourism in various communities in Thailand; such as, Ban Na Ton Chan Community in Sukhothai province, Kram Sakon in Sakon Nakhon province, Ban Nam Chiao Ecotourism Community, Trat province, and Ko Klang Community, Krabi province.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “Promoting the local experience will not only benefit visitors, but also the local people as well as travel agents. We strongly believe that each local community of Thailand can deliver distinctive, genuine, unique hospitality and Thai culture with new exciting experiences to tourists. Also, this will create new and unique quality products for travel agents to offer to their customers.”
From 1 January – 22 October, 2016, Thailand welcomed 26.4 million tourists, generating an income of 26.5 billion Pounds, up 11.82 percent and 15.59 percent, respectively. The top five tourism spending countries are China, Malaysia, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
At the end of 2016, TAT expects to reach 35 billion Pounds, an increase of 18 per cent based on a projection of 33 million international tourists.