Bangkok, 14 January 2015 – Thailand’s Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha today presided over the grand opening of the “2015 Discover Thainess” global tourism marketing campaign, which was presented in a spectacular parade in the centre of Bangkok with vibrant colours and will create wonderful memories for visitors.
Prime Minister General Prayut said, “Thainess represents the unique character of Thailand, which embodies centuries-old cultural values and social practices. The upholding of the three main pillars – the nation, religion and the monarchy, the preservation of Thai traditions and culture; such as, Thai arts and ‘the wai’ or the Thai greeting and show of respect, as well as the friendly nature of the Thai people, form part of “Thainess” and make Thailand very unique as a nation.”
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) launched the “2015 Discover Thainess” campaign, which incorporates the Thai government’s 12 national core values – among which are “the promotion and preservation of Thai traditions and culture” – with the aim to showcase the hospitable character of the Thai people and the many cultural assets of the country that make it a unique tourist destination.
Prime Minister General Prayut added, “The Thai government appreciates TAT, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and all stakeholders for helping to promote the country’s unique cultural treasures and the Thai way of happiness to be passed onto international visitors. At the same time, this campaign will help strengthen the pride of the Thai people, and encourage stronger participation in the preservation of our heritage and culture for the coming generations.”
The “2015 Discover Thainess” parade was encapsulated in six spectacular processions, stretching some 3.5 kilometres through central Bangkok. Leading the opening parade was a 12-metre replica of the royal barge Supannahong, which represents the power and glory of the Thai monarchy. It was followed by floats telling stories from the Thai epic, the Ramakien.
A second procession elaborately showcased some of the kingdom’s many regional festivals; such as, the New Year Songkran festival and alms-giving traditions from the North while other parades highlighted more vibrant elements of Thai culture like silk making, Thai cuisine, Muay Thai boxing and other fun and traditional activities the kingdom can offer. The evening culminated with the final procession called the “Smiles of Siam”, which celebrates the irrepressible happiness and hospitality of the Thai people.
H.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports said, “The procession marks the beginning of a year of activities inviting tourists to celebrate and share in elements of “Thainess” throughout Thailand, including the 12 hidden gems, or provinces that are renowned for their unique history, culture and lifestyle, as well as the 22 best places to see beautiful flowers in the country. In addition, at least one large event will take place every month at various locations up and down the country to coincide with popular regional festivals.”
Many of these large festivals are uniquely Thai, having being celebrated by the local people for centuries, but new events celebrating Thainess have also be arranged. Highlights over the “Discover Thainess” year will include the popular Muay Thai festival in March, the nationwide Songkran Festival in April, the Queen of Silk Festival in August and the nationwide Loi Krathong Festival in November.
Coinciding with the grand opening of the “2015 Discover Thainess” campaign is the Thailand Tourism Festival (TTF) being held in Bangkok’s Lumpini Park from 14-18 January. This year, the festival marks its 35th anniversary and will see hundreds of tourists, local and international, come along to discover all that is new in the kingdom’s hospitality and travel industries.
TAT Governor Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik said, “The processions through the heart of Bangkok are a great way to kick-start the “2015 Discover Thainess” campaign. By giving a colourful taste of the Thai festivals and traditions and showing to visitors the nation’s infinite variety, we are encouraging them to explore our country and culture. What is more, because the event is taking place at the same time as the TTF, many tourists will be able to experience “Thainess” through the observation and participation in various activities available at the five-day festival.”
In 2015, Thailand expects the number of international arrivals to rise by 13 percent to 28 million and revenue from foreign visitors by 16 percent to 1.35 trillion Baht.
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
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