Thailand finalized its marketing plan for 2016 with a renewed focus on targeting quality tourism. The Kingdom is described as a “Quality Leisure Destination through Thainess” and wants to open a new era for Thai tourism where quality will replace quantity. Instead of throwing higher numbers every year, Thailand is now looking at increasing visitor expenditure, average length of stay but also improve travellers’experience. Initiatives will be set to enhance the quality of the tourism experience.
“We are very much focusing on story content. Thai tourism must tell stories generating interest for travellers who then will remember and tell about their Thai experience. We selected a dozen of themes such as gastronomy, heritage, romance, sports, health, etc. We do a test by highlighting our famous “Pad Thai” dish. Behind this iconic noodle dish, so special to Thailand, we highlight the areas where ingredients can be found from the North to the South but also the history of our country and the way we cook Pad Thai”, explained Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Acting Governor of TAT
In her opening remark to Thai private and public tourism stakeholders, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul called on the entire industry to work on the principles of the 3Rs: “Restructure, Rebalance and Reposition.”
“In 2016, we are confident that Thailand will remain in the top 3 ranking in terms of international tourism receipts in the Asian region. The targets for 2016, as measured entirely in revenue earnings, are up by 8% over the projected earnings for 2015, or around 2.3 trillion Baht. Also international and domestic tourism will be both up by 8% over the same period, which is above the growth projections for the overall Thai national economy for 2016”, indicated the Minister.
According to Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Acting Governor of TAT, Thailand tourism authority is now looking more at targeting niche and specialized markets. “One of our main target in 2016 will be to market Thailand to ladies travellers. Ladies travellers are an essential component of the travel decision and a growing spending force when travelling. They represent more than 50% of world travellers and spend some US$20 billion in travel. By targeting ladies, we also want to show that Thailand is a safe destination to travel”, she said.
Thailand will emphasize lady’s driven activities such as taxis with lady drivers; parking for cars owned by woman or hotels offering dedicated floors to female travellers. Activities such as health and wellness, holiday in exclusive resorts but also golf activities and of course shopping are some of the assets that Thailand will promote to ladies. A first test market would be Japan where office ladies represent a spending force to reckon with.
“We also look to highlight some destinations such as Nan, Phrae, Lamphun and Lampang in the North; Hua Hin in Central Thailand or Koh Samui in the South”, added Mrs. Rerngronasa.
Special presents and promotions will be provided to female travellers in August 2016 to mark the birthday of Queen Sirikit, “an auspicious moment as her majesty will enter her seventh cycle birthday anniversary”, added the Acting Governor.
Other niche markets to get special marketing actions will be the Muslim market, one of the fastest travel segment in the world. “We will particularly promote our country to Malaysia and Indonesia in Asia but also to Gulf countries, Northern Africa as well as Central Asia”, told Juttaporn Rerngronasa. Other niche markets to be targeted are golfers, weddings and honeymoons as well as wellness tourism.
The 2016 marketing strategy will retain the Amazing Thailand branding logo- however modernized- as well as continuing to emphasize the “Thainess” identity.
Mrs. Juthaporn said, “The insertion of the word ‘quality’ into the theme is designed to help the entire Thai tourism industry follow suit by developing quality products and services to cater to this market. There has already been a remarkable improvement in our portfolio of quality tourism products over the years, and we expect this trend to continue in the years ahead”.