Thailand will boost domestic tourism as part of its objectives to achieve sustainability in tourism, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister, Somkid Jatusripitak, told a press briefing Monday, along with top officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), as well as public and private sectors that involve in the tourism industry.
The core discussions touched on how to launch corrective measures and promotional campaigns through cooperation with related organisations, the private sector and airlines to boost the country’s tourism this year. The Deputy Prime Minister concluded that to achieve tourism competitiveness and a sustainable market share, Thailand should place strong emphasis on domestic travel.
“The tourism ministry and TAT have been assigned to brainstorm and introduce policies to drive the country’s tourism forward,” the Deputy Prime Minister explained. “One project that needs to be discussed is “One District One Tourist Destination” to add more value to popular destinations as well as create new destinations through a story line to encourage travellers to explore new places.”
The policy should also develop tourism and local product quality, he added, noting that particular attention should be given to the quality of souvenirs, tourism activities and walking streets.
“The Ministry of Tourism and Sports, TAT as well as the Board of Investment of Thailand have been assigned to launch incentive measures to encourage the private sector and communities to invest in the tourism and hospitality sectors.”
To strengthen Thailand’s gateway status in regional tourism, the deputy Prime Minister encouraged authorities to tap cooperation with Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and Vietnam (sometimes referred to as the CLMV market in trade circles). “The emphasis should be on developing joint travel packages, tourism products, air services and transport,” he said.
Tourism and Sports Minister, H.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, told the news briefing the domestic market would be a key economic stimulator this year as campaigns encourage travellers to explore beyond popular tourist destinations. “We are confident that specific campaigns; such as, the 12 Hidden Gems, 12 Hidden Gems Plus and ‘According to Legend …’ will boost the country’s domestic market this year,” she said.
To encourage domestic travel, authorities will meet with the airlines to open new destinations and increase the frequencies to major destinations. “We need to study the potential of new routes that build traffic to Pattaya’s U-Tapao, Krabi and Chiang Mai International Airports and link secondary destinations to neighbouring countries particularly Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and Vietnam. Direct flights are needed to destinations promoted in the 12 Hidden Gems and 12 Hidden Gems Plus campaigns that will be our priority, but we need to estimate the province’s potential to attract traffic and airport capacity.”
The Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Dr. Yuthasak Supasorn identified a new campaign “Thai Chuai Thai” (Thai Supports Thai) that will reward Thai travellers through a monthly lucky draw worth 1 million Baht, while adding an even bigger reward quarterly to encourage Thais to travel in the country.
The campaign details will be released soon ahead of the campaign’s launch in February. It will extend to December. “We are now discussing with the airlines and hotels to offer discounts to encourage Thais to travel in the country particularly long-weekend holiday offers and specific travel packages to tap niche markets; such as, government officials, corporate incentives, students, retirees and sports enthusiasts.” he added.
Thailand’s tourism should generate 2.41 trillion Baht in revenue this year, revised upwards from an earlier projection of 2.3 trillion Baht. Of that total, 1.56 trillion Baht will come from international markets and 0.85 trillion Baht from domestic travel.
In 2015, Thailand generated 2.23 trillion Baht of which 1.44 trillion Baht came from international markets and 0.79 trillion Baht from the domestic sector.