The total number of 82 Thai exhibitors, mainly hotels, helped Thailand enjoy a dominant presence at the ATF 2017, the region’s first major travel trade event in a year that will mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the regional grouping.
At the ATF, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) introduced the new campaign “Unique Thai Local Experience”, to be used in 2017 to deliver an innovative and cultural mix to tourists while inviting them to explore these experiences under powerful narratives “Discover Amazing Stories in Amazing Thailand”.
In addition, Thai tourism executives participated in meetings of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers and Heads of NTOs, ASEAN +3, ASEAN +Russia during the event. Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, also addressed a media briefing on 18 January that was followed by the always popular Thai night on 19 January, 2017.
Travel to Thailand from ASEAN countries is growing at record levels, thanks to visa-free policies, growing trade and business contacts, strong marketing campaigns and increased low-cost airline linkages between the various new and emerging destinations.
In January – November 2016, arrivals from the ASEAN nations to Thailand increased 10% to 7.78 million.
Malaysia topped the list with 3.14 million arrivals, followed by Lao PDR. at 1.28 million and Singapore at 846,646. The fastest growing markets were Myanmar, +35.09% and Cambodia, +28.56%.
Mr. Yuthasak said, “As a member of ASEAN, Thailand has long adopted a policy to promote tourism in the region with a special focus on encouraging the region as a single destination for world travellers. This year, we are proud to mark the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. We are delighted to participate strongly in the “Visit ASEAN@50” campaign with a series of carefully-selected Thai products, tour packages and offers to bring memorable travel experiences.”
TAT also publicised its online campaign called ASEAN Photo Walk, which is designed to promote intra-ASEAN travel by highlighting the many iconic tourism attractions of the 10 member countries.
Participants can log in to the TAT website: www.tourismthailand.org/GoThailandGoAsean and post their selfies taken against the background of any ASEAN tourist attraction, check-in those attractions, and circulate them further over their social media networks via the hashtag #AseanPhotowalk #GoThailandGoAsean. This will generate considerable publicity for tourism products and services in ASEAN and facilitate the success of the VisitASEAN@50 campaign.
TAT will also be drumming up support for the next ASEAN Tourism Forum 2018 to be held in Chiang Mai during 22-26 January, 2018.
This will be the 6th ATF to be held in Thailand. Hosting it in Chiang Mai is in line with the national policy to give greater prominence to provincial destinations and highlight Thailand’s linkages with the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries.