Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn and Expedia Group’s director of market management Pimpawee Nopakitgumjorn, yesterday signed an MoU to boost tourism to secondary cities in the country, aligned with the TAT’s direction.
As part of the MOU, the collaboration will include the sharing of traveller-centric insights and trends that will boost TAT’s capabilities to plan effective promotional campaigns to attract more travellers and encourage longer stays in Thailand.
Both parties are also expected to embark on joint destination marketing campaigns to spotlight Thailand’s hidden and unique tourist attractions in its secondary cities, promoting the variety of lodgings to Expedia Group’s 675-plus million monthly visitors globally.
Expedia Group will also launch key programmes in destination marketing and skills transfer to the local hospitality industry in secondary cities. Workshops for local hotel partners will include ways to leverage Expedia Group’s Partner Central platform to accelerate skills development and build revenue and hotel management capabilities among local SME hotels.
Other aspects of the cooperation include a joint corporate social responsibility campaign aimed at enhancing environmental consciousness among hotels in Thailand and reducing the use of single-use and general plastic items in their properties. This is targeted at reducing the environmental pollution and damage resulting from tourism growth.
Pimpawee said: “A large majority of accommodations in secondary cities are still primarily offline which means international travellers cannot find or book them easily. This results in missed opportunities for hoteliers, as they are not capitalising on the growth of inbound travellers.
“We will be launching a series of initiatives to educate them on the value of online distribution. They will also have access to our partner-facing tool, which allows them to effectively manage their rates and availability, online content and guest satisfaction. By improving the digital skills of the hospitality sector, we will play a pivotal role in boosting the local economy.”