“Thainess” and “Happiness” core themes of Tourism Plan 2015

Bangkok – Taking full advantage of the return to peace and order in the kingdom, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has laid out a marketing plan targeting an estimated 1.4 trillion Baht in revenue from foreign tourists and 800 billion Baht from domestic tourists.

The core concepts will be to restore visitors’ confidence in Thailand by promoting Thainess, happiness, sustainability, as well as balanced and equitable growth.

Addressing the Thai tourism industry at the end of the annual marketing planning meeting, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Thawatchai Arunyik said, “In 2013, Thailand’s tourism revenue was ranked sixth in the world and third in Asia by the World Tourism Organisation. TAT is dedicated to make this ranking higher in 2015.”

TAT will follow the policies and guidelines of the 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan, Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ National Tourism Development Plan and the policy of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

He said that the target of 2.2 trillion Baht would not just be TAT’s target but that of the entire tourism industry. “We must walk together, grow together.  We plan to step up cooperation with a broad network of partners both within Thailand and abroad to get people travelling to and within Thailand. We aim to convey the “Thai Way of Happiness” and deliver the “fun factor” for which Thailand is very well known.”

TAT will organise special international events starting in October 2014 when a “Thailand Music Festival” will be organised under the theme, “Land of Fun.” More events in December 2014 to mark the birthday anniversary of His Majesty the King and New Year festival, which this year will take the form of a “Thailand Happiness Carnival.”

This will be in addition to the traditional fun and happiness celebrations that mark the Thai New Year in April when Songkran is marked with all its wet-and-fun gusto.

‘We expect that the 12-month programme of activities will make the rest of this year and next year full of colour, excitement, fun and happiness,” Mr. Thawatchai said.

The domestic travel marketing plan will target the family market, working people, the elderly and young. Ten Thai cities are to be categorised as “Must Visit Cities” in 2015. They have been chosen because each city has a special story that the Thai people should know about.

In order to iron out the peaks-and-troughs in travel patterns, TAT will be making a special effort to promote domestic travel during weekdays, not just over the weekends and long holidays.

On the international front, a new global tagline, “Amazing Thailand: Happiness Within” will be launched targetted at both first-time and repeat visitors to experience the “Thai Way of Happiness” and then make use of social media to pass on their experiences to their families, friends and colleagues.

“When tourists are happy, they will forward their messages. We will focus on building promotions around the concept of ‘forwarding messages’ in the online world. When visitors forward their messages, it will raise the awareness of Thailand and attract more future visitors.”

He noted that Thailand will also take advantage of the opportunities that will be opened up by the enhanced facilitation and transportation connectivity under the integrated ASEAN Economic Community 2015. This will allow development of special cross-border tour packages and caravans to Lao PDR., Cambodia and beyond to Vietnam and China.

On the international front, the focus will be on secondary cities in the existing major performing markets and continued emphasis on special-interest markets; such as, golf, honeymoon and weddings, health and wellness, as well as ecotourism.

Mr. Thawatchai concluded, “Next year’s targets are very challenging, but TAT believes that with good cooperation and professionalism from all sectors here, we can step forward to reach the target, based on a common vision and sense of purpose.”