Thailand harnesses expat community as tourism source

(From left) The MC; Patee Sarasin, CEO of Nok Air; Sugree Sithivanich, TAT deputy governor for marketing communications; Andrew Biggs, a renowned Australian expat and author in Thailand; and Jonas Anderson, a Swedish performer famous for his Thai folk singing

THE Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is harnessing its huge expat population as a quality source market.

According to the Office of Foreign Workers Administration, around 110,000 expatriates are working legally in Thailand, 70 per cent of them in management positions or higher. TAT believes they are a high-spending source and is launching efforts to tap them.
One of these initiatives is the Expat Fair Thailand 2016 which debuted yesterday to promote Thai destinations to expats, particularly the secondary ones under its 12 Hidden Gemscampaign.

Promoting secondary tourism provinces will help to relieve the problem of tourist congestion in the main destinations.

TAT plans to develop the fair as an annual event and welcome expats from Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and the US to the event, said Sugree Sithivanich, TAT deputy governor for marketing communications.

Another event, Food Fun Fair, will be held on October 1-2 in Bangkok. Nok Air is sponsoring 40 air tickets, while the venue, Fragrant Park, is offering the space (around 2,600m2) for free. TAT expects at least 3,000 visitors to the two-day event, which has no admission fee.

The fair will feature food trucks selling international cuisines, cooking competitions, mini concerts, an expat interview with Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova and TAT booths promoting 12 Hidden Gems.

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