Thailand is beginning to promote family friendly destinations as part of its strategy to woo more tourists from the region.
Thailand which attracted about 38 million visitors last year aims to attract 41 million foreign tourists this year.
“We are moving forward to brand Thailand as a family friendly destination as our country can cater to various family tourist attractions and tourism products to serve the ongoing demands from ASEAN, South Asia and Oceania markets.
“We focus on promoting new tourist destinations in the emerging provinces – four routes focus on emerging cities across Thailand which are Chiang Rai, Phitsanulok-sukhothai, Trat-Chanthaburi, Hat Yai-Satun,” said Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhaya, Deputy Governor for International Marketing, Asia and South Pacific, Tourism of Thailand (TAT).
He was speaking to international participants who attended the “Experience New Variety and Family Fun in Amazing Thailand 2019” familiarisation trip organised by TAT.
Some 64 participants from Asean, South Asia and South Pacific regions attended the event which was held from April 4 to April 7. largely to showcase Thailand’s emerging destinations.
Thai authorities are busy promoting the “Experience New Variety Thailand and Family Fun” to serve the growing market as well as to brand Thailand as a family friendly destination.
Chattan added: “TAT positions Thailand as a preferred destination in a sustainable way as well as to stimulate the economy of the rural areas by promoting 55 emerging destinations.
“That way this year, we have organised the Experience New Variety and Family Fun in Amazing Thailand 2019 event to show Thailand’s new potential products”.
“Asean, South Asia, South Pacific region are very important [destinations] to Thailand at the moment. The number of tourists combined exceeds all other regions in the world. ASEAN alone produces approximately the same number from one country which is China – over 10 million tourists,” he added.
Klissada Ratanapruk, TAT Executive Director, Asean, South Asia and South Pacific Region Department said the main aim of promoting the emerging destinations is to “have them serve as a connecting points to other places, including the neighbouring countries, with smooth and seamless connectivity via the well-known tourist cities”.
“This is the first time such a fam [familiarisation] trip is being held. It has been carefully designed and curated to feature some of the best emerging destinations, products, services and facilities. The participants will enjoy eating local food, and experiencing local community activities [like traditional massage].”
“TAT is launching this project to let you discover tourist attractions and provide tourism services within main cities and emerging cities and many other provinces in order to offer you a chance to gain a self-experience in travelling within Thailand,” said Chattan.
The event was organised in a systematic fashion with five booths representing the various regions – eastern, southern, northern, central and north eastern – where tour operators, travel agents, and media could source for information about tourist attractions and products of the respective region before introducing them to their customers and the public.
When asked about the tourism growth between Thailand and Cambodia, Chattan told The Post that “Cambodia is very important market for us [Thailand]”.
“Travel from Cambodia to Thailand is growing every year. We are so close and historically we are not much of difference. But in Thailand we have developed tourism industry a lot, each region has different kinds of experience, different food, culture, ways of life. So, we want Cambodian travels to visit other regions and not only Bangkok to experience amazing Thailand.”
Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand has emerged as a major tourist destinations in the world due to its popular white sandy beaches, rich history and culture, ancient Thai temples, local festivals, rich cuisine, night local markets and many other attractions.
Last year, Thailand welcomed over 38 million visitors and earned $62 billion in tourism revenue, up 10 per cent from 2017.
About 10 million visitors from Asean visited Thailand last year, generating an estimated 332 billion baht in tourism receipts.
Malaysia was the largest market with total of arrivals of 4.09 million, followed by Laos with 1.75 million, Singapore 1.06 million, and Vietnam 1.02 million.
Arrival from South Asia grew by a strong 11.82 per cent to 1.98 million visitors and India topped the list with arrivals up by 12.83 percent.