Thailand ropes in GTA and partners to drive upscale travel


(From left) Juthaporn Rerngronasa, deputy governor for International Marketing, TAT, and Ivan Walter, CEO, GTA

THE Tourism Authority of Thailand, which has “fundamentally changed” its marketing plan to focus on quality experience rather than arrival numbers growth, has roped in GTA and partners to drive upscale travel to the Kingdom in a pledge signed yesterday at the ‘g meet’ in Bangkok.

TAT deputy governor Juthaporn Rerngronasa said TAT is focusing on enhancing a “Thainess” image, one that conjures a quality leisure destination in which visitor experience and length of stay, not numbers, count.

The new emphasis should yield an eight per cent increase in tourism revenue to US$66.5 billion, US$43 billion of which is from the international market, she said.

As part of the new plan, there will be increased focus on digital media and content marketing, including an Amazing Stories initiative, a move to target specific higher-yield niches including luxury travel, cruise market, health/wellness, honeymoons, golf and community tourism.

ASEAN is on TAT’s radar, with plans to promote weekends and road travel in ASEAN with Thailand as an anchor.

GTA’s CEO Ivan Walter said the pledge is more than just a symbol. “We believe that through our partnership, we will be able to encourage more upscale travellers to visit Thailand to appreciate indigenous travel experiences – lavish accommodation and personalised unique on-the-ground excursions. But most importantly, we want people to enjoy pleasant interactions with Thai culture, its environment and its greatest asset – its Thai people.”

Other GTA partners that have joined the commitment include AccorHotels, AIS, Caissa Touristic, Compass Hospitality, Derbysoft, Far East Hospitality, Flight Centre, JTB, MakeMyTrip, Metglobal, Minor Hotel Group, Onyx Hospitality Group, SiteMinder, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Thai Airways International and Tuniu.

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