Thailand woos Japanese tourists with sports

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has taken a sporty spin to its destination marketing efforts in Japan, where it hopes to position the kingdom as a year-round “world-class international sports destination”.

Thailand’s numerous stadiums, courses and arenas, which are used for sports training, were showcased at the Thailand Sports Tourism 365 Days Amazing You event in Tokyo on Monday, organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS), Sports Authority of Thailand, and Royal Thai Embassy.

From Left: JATA’s Masahiko Inada; Royal Thai Embassy, Tokyo, Japan’s Singtong Lapisatepun; vice minister of tourism and sports Napintorn Srisunpang; Sport Authority of Thailand’s Nattavuth Ruengves; and TAT’s Kitsana Kaewtumrong at the press conference to promote Thailand as a sports tourism destination in Tokyo

Kitsana Kaewtumrong, TAT executive director for advertising and public relations department, said: “In the past few years, we have seen a growing trend of sports enthusiasts seeking a unique competitive moment and memorable holiday. Our strategy now is to promote Thailand as a (dream destination for sports tourism).”

Besides sports hardware, Thailand boasts an array of sporting events that will add flavour to the campaign.

The TAT / TG Golf Cup at Chee Chan Golf Course in Pattaya is part of a number of global activities organised in collaboration with various tour operators for the 60th anniversary of TAT and Thai Airways International this year.

Five competitive marathons will also be held this year, and every year forward, following their launch by the MOTS in December 2019 as part of the MOTS-led Thailand Road Racing Standard campaign. They are Bang Saen Marathon (Chon Buri), Buri Ram Marathon, Chombueng Marathon (Ratchaburi), Phukethon and Bangkok Midnight Marathon.

Three TAT offices in Japan plan to collaborate with the Sports Information Centre to create a marathon tour package in Thailand.

In 2019, Thailand recorded 1.8 million travellers from Japan, generating 89 billion baht (US$2.8 billion), up by 9 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.

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