Travel experience company Really Really Cool (RRC)’s CEO Patee Sarasin was recently named “Yamagata Special Ambassador of Tourism and Tsuyahime” by Meiko Yoshimura, governor of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.
The title was conferred upon Sarasin, the former CEO of Nok Air, in recognition of his role in pioneering Thai outbound travel to Japan’s Yamagata Prefecture. RRC firmly put the prefecture on the map as a popular new destination for Thai tourists, especially the ski resorts at Zao during winter and other seasons throughout the year, said the company in a statement.
In the letter of appointment, governor Yoshimura wrote: “Your role will be to spread the word of Yamagata throughout Japan and the world: of its strikingly varied seasonal vistas, relaxing hot springs, food and spiritual cultures nurtured by a rich natural environment, the charm of ‘Japan’s hometown, Yamagata’. It warms the heart and soothes the soul, and [offers] the delight of the unparalleled taste of Yamagata-born Tsuyahime rice. I ask you to do your utmost in your capacity as ambassador.”
Sarasin has already collaborated with travel businesses in Yamagata, advising them on the itineraries that will most appeal to Thai tourists and the types of services that will enhance the prefecture’s travel offerings.
RRC, in collaboration with Yamagata Prefecture, was instrumental in launching bespoke itineraries to Zao and introducing its “snow monsters” –famous ski resorts and family-run onsens – to a new generation of Thai travellers.
Travel between Thailand and Japan peaked in 2018, with new destinations and attractions fuelling bilateral tourism growth. Japan received 1.1 million (+14.7 per cent year on year) Thai tourists in 2018, while 1.5 million (+6.8 per cent) Japanese travellers visited Thailand during 2018.