The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s latest retail sales initiative is expected to increase Thailand’s appeal according to both Thailand Minister of Tourism HE Weerasak Kowsurat and TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
Officially launched on November 15, TAT latest promotion activity is the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale. However, although the Grand Sale has been a fixed event in the tourism calendar, this year TAT hopes to attract even more tourists as it also introduces the initiative “Passport Privileges”. The initiative is expected to further boost tourism revenues by offering additional incentives to tourists.
The passport is given to foreign travellers, particularly the ones coming from neighbouring ASEAN countries but also from South Asia or Northeast Asia. “We promise additional discounts and special prices on top of the usual discounts. This is a strategy to further consolidate the image of Thailand as a shopping destination offering excellent value for money. Beside additional discounts, we want also to simplify formalities for VAT refund to make shopping even more convenient,” explains Yuthasak Supasorn.
“We worked in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Commerce to improve VAT refunds facilities. Additional refund counters are now set up in some department stores or malls to have tourists getting immediately the VAT back. This will also further stimulate spending for example on food or on more shopping as tourists have again cash in their hands,” adds TAT Governor.
Asian tourists are particularly into the group target of both the Ministry of Tourism and TAT. “We of course look at being more attractive for Chinese travellers, especially as ‘Passport Privileges’ is conducted in parallel to the free visa-on-arrival initiative. We bellieve that such an initiative will drive FIT from China. Individual travellers represent already 65% of all Chinese arrivals but we hope to raise this share to 70%” states HE Weerasak Kowsurat. ”
“But we also want to distinguish other travellers from Asia. Actually, total arrivals from ASEAN countries represent 10 million travellers as much as China. And we experience also a huge increase from India but also from Eastern Europe, both up by over 20%,” stresses the Minister.
Meanwhile, the Minister continues to evaluate the evolution of tourism in the Kingdom, emphasizing the necessity to enforce sustainable tourism practices as well as avoiding the phenomenon of over-tourism. “We are monitoring the carrying capacity of tourist destinations, particularly on islands. And we want to move away from the single plastic-use consumption habit. We also look at promoting more and more secondary destinations to reduce the burden on over-popular destinations,” describes Weerasak Kowsurat.
New attractions in secondary cities, including more international style shopping malls, hotels and culinary experiences are part of this strategy. As the upgrading of infrastructures across the Kingdom. At the end, Thailand is not just Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket and Samui…