The video is as beautiful as an advertising for an expensive Western perfume brand. Slim elegant young people -obviously all top models- enjoy a special holiday in Thailand. A holiday for the Super Rich. In t”Where Life Rules Everything” -a three-minute movie produced by advertising agency Leo Burnett Thailand- all ingredients are there: champagne flows and cigars are consumed, a sleek white limousine rides through Chinatown and Rattanakosin Island, half a dozen of mall staff or hotel staff spend their time carrying shopping bags and suitcases of their guests, while private hydroplane and private yacht take our top model-alike VIP travellers to a private beach area and a sumptuous suite in a resort. Elephant riding, cave climbing, individual lessons of muay thai boxing and of cooking a coconut chicken soup: all possible activities in Thailand can be luxury.
Thailand wants to concentrate from now on premium high quality travellers. Roughly summarized: High spending upper classes are in, popular masses out. The objective of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Thai Government was extensively explained at Thailand media briefing during the last ASEAN Travel Forum in Manila. The country wants to welcome 32 million of travellers -a growth of 8% over 2015; “This is a growth deceleration compared to 2015 which experienced a 20% jump in total foreign arrivals”, highlighted at the ATF Tourism TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn. Spending from foreign travellers is due to reach US$43 billion this year while domestic travellers are expected to spend US$22.5 billion. “We have to reinforce the message that Thailand is a high quality leisure destination”, he explained Yuthasak Supasorn.
“They are many areas where Thailand can leverage on its top positioning in Asia. We want for example reinforce medical and wellness tourism, continue to promote Bangkok as a top sophisticated shopping destination in Southeast Asia. We also look at niche markets such as female travellers, a market that is particularly growing in Japan, Korea or Hong Kong. We will for example organize for the first time a female golf international tournament LPGA 2016 by the end of February”, said the Governor.
But quality tourism is also taking tourists aside of well-know destinations. “There is a commitment to grow our tourism but in the most possible sustainable way to lessen the impact on our environment. This is why we now promote the 12 hidden gems of Thailand, destinations aside of very popular tourist areas which tend to be overcrowded”, added Yuthasak Supasorn.
In the North, the provinces of Phrae, Chayaphum, Lamphun and Phitsanulok will be promoted; in Central Thailand, emphasis will be given to Suphan Buri and Nakhon Pathom; along the Gulf of Thailand to Rayong and Sa Kaeo; Surin in Isan while the South will see promotion for Patthalung, Satun and Ranong will be highlighted this year. These destinations are added to the 12 hidden jewels of the year 2015…