London, 26 June, 2018 – Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha recently presided over the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and seven Thai restaurant groups – Minor Group, Thai Square, Giggling, Thai Leisure Group, Kho Thai, Rosa Group and Bussaba Group – to launch a new ‘Eat Thai Visit Thai’ promotion aimed at boosting travel from the UK to Thailand.
PM Prayut attended the MOU signing as part of his official visit to the UK and France, from 20-25 June, to promote Thailand’s economic potential and investment opportunities under the ‘Thailand 4.0’ national development policy (2017-2022) that envisions the transformation of the kingdom into an innovation and technology driven economy.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: “TAT is extremely honoured that His Excellency Prime Minister Prayut personally witnessed our landmark signing event in London on 21 June to launch the ‘Eat Thai Visit Thai’ promotion, which puts emphasis on using gastronomy tourism as one key part to promote Thailand as a preferred destination and to help spread the benefits of tourism across local communities nationwide.”
TAT’s ‘Eat Thai Visit Thai’ promotion corresponds with the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan and 2nd National Tourism Development Plan. By leveraging on two of Thailand’s lucrative industries – food and tourism, which generated 850 million Baht and 2.76 trillion Baht respectively in 2017, the promotion is expected to help promote the kingdom’s emerging generation of 55 secondary destinations and better balance the distribution of tourist arrivals between urban and rural areas.
From 1 August, 2018, to 30 September, 2019, TAT will be working closely with its strategic partners to boost travel from 10 regional cities in the UK including Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and Liverpool to Thailand’s clusters of secondary destinations.
Besides the collaboration with the seven Thai restaurant groups that offer over 100 restaurants in the UK, TAT will also rope in cooperation from Thailand’s beverage producers – Thai Beverage, Singha Corporation and Siam Winery; airline partners include Thai Airways International, EVA Air, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways; tour operator partners in the UK, and the travel trade media.
Over the course of about one year, the ‘Eat Thai Visit Thai’ promotion will see strategic partner restaurants telling the story of Thai food sources under a ‘Thai Food and Travel Kit’ activity and presenting unique Thai local dishes under the ‘Regional Thailand Signature Dishes’ menu.
UK celebrities will also be invited to ‘D I Thai’ cookery course evenings that will be publicised via social media channels, while cooking enthusiasts will have the chance to win exciting prizes from ‘The Great “Thai Cook Off” competition. In addition, fans of Thailand will be offered special package tour prices during the ‘Eat Thai Visit Thai January Sale’ for travels in the following winter season.
In 2017, Thailand welcomed 994,468 arrivals from the UK, generating 76.61 billion Baht. For 2018, TAT expects revenue from the market to grow by 5 per cent.