Speech by Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand At Thailand Networking Lunch, WTM 2016 Excel, London, UK Monday, 7 November 2016, (10 minutes)
Sawasdee khrap and good afternoon,
TAT Board of Directors,
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Thai people are now in a period of remembrance of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and reminiscing the many things he achieved for the development of the nation throughout his 70-year reign.
Even so, Thailand remains a hospitable and welcoming country to all our visitors. Everyone who goes there will find a country that is proceeding with its daily life as it always has. Our Kingdom offers a wide variety of attractions that feature health and wellness, sports tourism, culture and local experiences. Cultural activities and traditions are continuing like before in an appropriate manner.
TAT’s Tourism Direction
For the current tourism direction of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, we aim to promote Thailand as a ‘Preferred Destination’ that will attract quality leisure tourists from around the world. Our objective is for Thailand to be ranked in the top 7 global destinations in terms of tourism revenue.
And we hope to achieve our goal in 2017 with the target of 38 billion Pounds (1.89 trillion Baht) in international tourism receipts. Out of this 10 billion Pounds will come from European visitors, while 1.5 billion Pounds will come from the United Kingdom.
Why must it be a local experience in Thailand?
This objective will be accomplished as our country has its strength in hospitality, unique Thai way of life, culture, history, and diverse destinations, which create a variety of amazing experiences in Thailand.
We are aware that in today’s travel industry, more and more people are looking for real and authentic stories. That is why we are going to offer “Unique Thai Local Experiences” to the world. In line with the Thailand 4.0 model, we are highlighting a value-based economy driven by innovation. In other words, we are looking to be a creative economy delivering creative tourism.
Moreover, we have initiated the LINK project in which ‘L’ represents Local Experiences; ‘I’ for Innovation; ‘N’ for Networking, and ‘K’ for Keeping character. This is to promote local tourism in various communities in Thailand.
The project will mainly enhance the strength of each community to attract travellers. The concept is to create the ‘Strength from Within’ in order to ‘Connect the business to the World’ by implementing the competitiveness in the international stage. This not only encourages travellers to visit, but also to engage in cultural experiences in different parts of Thailand.
We believe that when people see, learn and interact more, it will make them appreciate what they have participated in and share these learning experiences to their friends and family.
One very good example of this connectivity is the TAT London Office has joined hands with G Adventure, one of the UK’s tour operators specialising in community-based tourism to empower the local tourism in Mae Hong Son province.
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. Impressive experiences in Thailand will then turn them into loyal customers.
Moreover, the local experiences will be promoted on the world stage through the Amazing Thailand brand called “Discover Amazing Stories in Amazing Thailand”.
- Ban Na Ton Chan Community, Sukhothai province in Northern Thailand infuses local wisdom to create a charming homestay experience.
- Kram Sakon, Sakon Nakhon in Northeastern Thailand is known as a source of high quality indigo-dyed cloth or Kram Sakon with attractive and colourful patterns.
- Ban Nam Chiao Ecotourism Community in Trat, in Eastern Thailand is well-known for the handicraft palm leaf hats called “Ngop Nam Chiao” (งอบน้ำเชี่ยว).
- In the South, visitors are able to learn about the local way of life; such as, building a Hua Tong boat (หัวโทง) and painting Batik at the Ko Klang Community, Krabi province.
Into the near future, there are some international events I would like to share and invite you to participate including:
In 2017, Thailand confirms to host some important international events to enhance Thailand’s profile as a destination for organising world leading conference events.
The 2017 World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Bangkok on 26-27 April, which will bring together hundreds of leaders from public and private organisations in the tourism industry to discuss trending issues in the tourism sector.
The Destination Wedding Planners Congress in Phuket on 2-4 May, which will be joined by high-end destination wedding planners, stakeholders of potential wedding venues along with leading wedding suppliers.
Also we will have Thailand’s annual trade event, the Thailand Travel Mart plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion or TTM+, which will be held on 7-9 June 2017, in Chiang Mai for its second consecutive year. The event has created a significant business prospect not only for Thailand, but also other countries in the Greater Mekong Region. This event has strengthened Thailand’s northern region as a gateway and bridgehead to our ASEAN nation neighbours.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Before leaving today, if you are wondering how we can work on promoting the local experiences together, please come to visit us at the Thailand Pavilion, our sellers and TAT staff are ready to welcome you all. The booth offers the touch of Thai local experiences in various interesting activities.
At the demonstration under the story of ‘Thai Rice, Thai Life’, learn the local life of Thai farmers through virtual reality like you are actually travelling in Thailand and sample rice tea and a snack while trying a hand rice milk scrub. Also, join in a Thai pronunciation challenge in a ‘Pa-Sa-Thai’ machine to see how best you can pronounce like the locals and win some souvenirs.
Finally, to let you have a better idea what it will be like to enjoy a local experience in Thailand, I am going to take you there with a video, but let me leave you with some words before we watch. ‘Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced.’ And Thailand can impressively create that moment for everyone.
Thank you and sawasdee khrap.