The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has come up with more reasons for Thais to travel more frequently within the country with the aim to raise the number of domestic tourists by 4% to 150.8 million trips and increase the revenue by 8% to 807 million Baht in 2016.
Mr. Anupharp Thirarath, TAT’s Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing said, “Under the successful ‘Discover Thainess’ concept, TAT’s main strategies for domestic tourism marketing for 2016 are to continue to instil national pride among the Thai people by both inspiring and encouraging them to travel more domestically. And in giving more reasons for Thais to travel frequently within the country, we have lined up a number of unique destinations with impressive stories that deserve a visit.”
Mr. Anupharp Thirarath, TAT’s Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing.
TAT is introducing the “12 hidden gems plus” or twin destinations. This follows the success of the 12 hidden gems project, which has helped to inject tourism revenue of more than 3.5 billion Baht into these secondary tourist destinations, according to the Kasikorn Research Centre.
The “12 hidden gems plus” will see Lampang being promoted together with Lamphun, Nan with Phrae, Phetchabun with Phitsanulok, Loei with Chaiyaphum, Buriram with Surin, Ratchaburi with Suphan Buri, Samut Songkram with Nakhon Pathom, Chanthaburi with Sa Kaeo, Trat with Rayong, Chumphon with Ranong, Trang with Satun, and Nakhon Si Thammarat with Phatthalung. The pairing is based on the tourism uniqueness of the twin destinations that complement one another.
Under the ‘Dream Destinations’ campaign, which will continue for the third consecutive year, TAT is promoting “folklore tourism” highlighting 24 sites of myth and legend. Over the years or even the centuries, these 24 places have accumulated tall stories that have intrigued locals and visitors. For example, Zutongpae Bridge in Mae Hong Son where locals believe that crossing this wooden catwalk will bring success in life, or the Black Sand Beach in Trat where locals believe that the black volcanic sand has restorative powers.
Famous Thai folk song band took to the stage to tell the amazing stories of sites of myth and legend in Thailand during the press conference.
Mr. Anupharp said, “The folklore tourism is aimed to attract Thais with high disposable income, including senior citizens, female and Generation Y travellers, and the DINKs (double income no kids) groups. In addition, we hope that our domestic tourism marketing strategy for 2016 will also help to stimulate more trip expenditure, from 4,200 Baht to 4,330 Baht per person.”
TAT has also scheduled highlighted events and activities for 2016 to encourage more Thais to travel within the country. The Thailand Tourism Festival is scheduled from 13-17 January, 2016, at Lumphini Park, Bangkok. The “Outdoor Fest” to stimulate travel during weekdays and the green season will be held from 12-15 May, 2016, at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.
For 2015, TAT aims to attract Thais to make 148 million trips domestically generating 800 million Baht in revenue.