Gearing up to mark its 60th anniversary in 2020, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has reaffirmed its commitment to making travel and tourism the kingdom’s most environmentally sustainable, quality-oriented and culturally vibrant sector in the years to come. A must as tourism is turning into a maturing industry in the country.
Highlighting the results of the Tourism Action Plan meetings hosted in Udon Thani last week, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn highlighted to the travel industry as well as to all representatives of the authority around the world that the 60th anniversary of the tourism marketing agency. Celebrating the event in 2020, TAT wants to look at the new challenges emerging from a more demanding sophisticated traveller and face also the issues over environment, sustainability, overtourism in a highly competitive and constantly changing global and regional environment.
“With the positive outcome in 2018, Thai tourism has clearly succeeded in fulfilling its mandate,” the governor declared. “We will work even harder to maintain our brand image, preserve our competitive advantages, and ensure that the socio-economic benefits of international and domestic tourism are spread right across the country.”
In implementing this agenda, TAT will be closely aligning its strategies with the policies and plans of the National Economic and Social Development Board, Thailand’s national planning agency, whose Secretary General, Mr. Thosaphorn Sirisamphan is also the current Chairman of TAT’s Board.
Mr. Supasorn acknowledges that the 2020 targets will be more challenging than ever. “We will work harder and even more enthusiasm to achieve them,” he stressed. Thai tourism is currently facing uncontrollable elements such as global geopolitical friction and economic difficulties, increasing competition, a relatively strong Baht, and reduced spending power.
Targets for 2020 are to boost total tourism revenues by 10% over the projection for this year in both domestic and international markets. TAT has also set clear directions to move the Thai tourism industry out of mass tourism and towards responsible tourism with an emphasis on revenue-generating quality tourists. The idea of responsible tourism will be spread out through all communication channels of TAT.
The Governor unveiled that, “TAT will launch a nationwide campaign to mark its 60th anniversary with core messages highlighting the importance of responsible tourism and being good hosts under the theme of “Next steps towards a sustainable Thailand”. This campaign will be delivered to three target groups: TAT staff, the Thai people, and Thai tourism stakeholders. Meanwhile, an “Amazing Thailand Week” is also planned for the international market by TAT’s overseas offices.
For the domestic market, TAT will categorise customers into various segments; such as, Gen X, Gen Y, family and millennial family, silver age, lady, first jobber, multi-gen, and corporate.
In the foreign markets, TAT will focus on specific quality markets and middle-upper income groups (Go High). It will seek first-time visitors in new markets and in the long-standing source markets (Go New Customer). It will also attempt to balance out the seasonality factor and generate more demand in the “Green Season” (Go Low).
Alongside efforts to build a strong image of Thailand in order to maintain its competitive advantages, other products will be developed and marketed; such as, homestays, walking streets and local cuisine (Go Local). Meanwhile, digital technology will be devised to reach the customers (Go Digital).
The marketing agency has also to move into new ways of promoting the Kingdom, emphasizing secondary destinations and recommending new activities. “TAT will move to support destinations where hotel occupancy is less than 60%, We could also show on our website where overcrowding occurs and where to avoid it through an interactive map for example,” said Yuthasak Susaporn.
The core communication marketing theme will remain “Open to the New Shades” that focuses on providing positive and unexpected experiences. Campaign will however change for 2021.
Following on from the long-standing Amazing Thailand slogan, widely recognised as one of the most impressive brand campaigns in Asia, the future advertising campaigns will continue to specific target groups and highlight the friendliness and hospitality of the Thai people.
“The good news is that the global travel and tourism market is still vibrant and the Asia-Pacific region, the source of the vast majority of Thailand’s tourism visitors, is seeing the emergence of many different customer segments across all demographic categories and income groups.”
He added, “The past 60 years have seen Thai tourism go through many ups and downs, but always emerge strong and resilient. Our contribution to national social and economic development is now well-recognised. With the strong support of all Royal Thai Government agencies, our partners and friends abroad, as well as our energetic private sector, we will be doing our best to stay the course in the years ahead.”
To keep the position as a preferred destination, TAT will maintain to be 1 of top 6 countries that generated tourism revenue, and in the top 3 in the Loyalty Index in the Asia Pacific.