Top News TAT launches Hug Thais project to revitalise battered tourism industry By TTG Asia / Posted on 25 June, 2021 16:01 The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has partnered with the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) to launch the Hug Thais project aimed at stimulating Thai and foreign tourists’ spending to revive the economy. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, minister of tourism and sports, said, “The Hug Thais project is the latest public-private sector initiative of TAT, the Thai government, and partners like the TCC to reinvigorate Thailand’s tourism industry and the wider national economy. Such cooperation is vital as Thailand progresses towards once again enjoying its status as a preferred tourist destination.” TAT’s Hug Thais campaign will be initially launched in Phuket next month as the resort island reopens The word “hug” in local northern Thai dialect means “love”, and was chosen to drive the campaign’s key elements – Eat More, Travel More and Shop More – across “in a warm and friendly manner”, according to a TAT press release. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT governor, said the tourism board will provide the marketing and publicity support to stimulate travel and tourism expenditure by encouraging both Thai and foreign tourists to ‘Eat More’ local food, ‘Travel More’ within Thailand, and ‘Shop More’ for products of Thailand at shops and outlets with the Hug Thais logo. The Hug Thais project will be launched with the pilot Hug Thais Hug Phuket programme next month, to coincide with the much-awaited July 1 reopening of Phuket to tourism under the Sandbox model. This will see the island welcoming vaccinated foreign tourists without quarantine requirements, and is expected to be followed by the reopening of other destinations in the coming months. Eventually, the Hug Thais project will also be rolled out in other destinations across Thailand. Yuthasak said: “The Hug Thais Hug Phuket project is aimed at revitalising Phuket’s tourism and service industry and in doing so, leading the way for the similar revitalisation of other destinations around Thailand.” Among the Hug Thais Hug Phuket initiatives on offer to Thai and foreign tourists will be discounts of up to 10 per cent when they spend 1,000 baht (US$31) or more in the retail sector, and 100 baht cash coupons for use on their next visits at participating shops and outlets. Sanan Angubolkul, TCC chairman, said the agency will encourage hotels, airlines, transportation operators, restaurants, shopping centres and all tourism players to take part in the Hug Thais project, while providing support on marketing and trade activities, particularly for SMEs. The Hug Thais project is expected to generate over 100 billion baht to the Thai economy within the next six months.