TOURISM Authority of Thailand (TAT) will launch its Bangkok and Beyond strategy in June, with hopes to extend the duration and expenditure of tourists by promoting destinationswithin a few hours’ drive of the capital.
Sansern Ngaorungsri, TAT deputy governor for international marketing Asia and South Pacific, said: “The Bangkok and Beyond strategy aims to leverage the number of tourists who come to Bangkok and find the city too congested or crowded. We want to encourage them to extend their stay by travelling around Bangkok.
“A major part of our strategy is to reach 22 million tourist arrivals this year, but the focus is on extending stays and expenditure.”
Five tour routes will be promoted at Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2013: Nakhon Nayok-Korat, Ayutthaya-Ang Thong-Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom-Kanchanaburi, Amphawa-Hua Hin and Chanthaburi-Koh Chang.
The chosen destinations are easily accessible from the capital and boast attractions ranging from nature activities to beach tourism, but have received little promotional support from TAT thus far.
The NTO will collaborate with Campervan Thailand, a motorhome rental service, to target tourists from Australia and New Zealand who prefer self-drives.
“We’ll start by promoting the first (Bangkok and Beyond) route from Bangkok to Nakhon Nayok,” Sansern said. “Australia and New Zealand will be the first two countries we market this to, and we are inviting travel consultants to come over to review the products in June.”
Ayutthaya is a well-known historical site but of little interest to tourists from China, Thailand’s top source market. “We’re promoting other activities there, such as elephant riding, which is popular with the Chinese,” he revealed.
He added that Khao Yai was strong for nature tourism, while Hua Hin provided a higher-end, family-friendly alternative to the increasingly overcrowded Pattaya.