The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) looks increasingly at targeting individual travellers through social media in an effort to boost sustainable, quality-generating tourism activities as well as second destinations promotion.
Thailand tourism is certainly entering the age of maturity. For years, the Kingdom had no difficulties selling the triptych beach-smile-cheap prices for tourists, all packed into an exotic wrapping paper consisting of elephants, Thai traditional dancers and Thai food. These times seem definitely over.
The extremely strong baht is turning Thailand into a less competitive destination compared to some of its neighbours and there is no sign it would change in the short term. Environment problems and climate change are also affecting increasingly popular tourism destinations. All these factors force TAT to fine-tune its marketing strategy and redefine the Kingdom’s image.
The tourism marketing agency is consequently looking increasingly at niche markets and individual travellers. Using social media is now seen as an efficient tool to portray the Kingdom in a more individualistic, creative manner. And also to integrate influencers, who are today the new stars of communication in a social media-centric society.
Various initiatives have been launched in the last few years such as an annual blogger contest or ‘The Seasons,’ a travel documentary series in support of the ongoing “Amazing Thailand Open to the New Shades” communication concept.
The beautiful short movies highlight various aspects of Thai life and destinations and are visible in any online channels such as YouTube. The latest marketing campaign “Thailand Dares You”, which finished on July 31, was a unique online video sharing campaign that ‘dared’ foreign tourists and expats in Thailand to accept four challenges by creating videos to post on social media and share with friends using the #WeDareYouThailand hashtag.
“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,” said TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn last July when announcing TAT Marketing Strategy for 2020.
Meanwhile, TAT launched a new limited marketing campaign to stimulate regional markets. Named ‘Give Me 5’, the campaign targets an additional 200,000 visitors from India and six ASEAN countries during the off-peak season of July-September. TAT identified families, women and incentive groups from 19 cities in India, Indonesia, Lao PDR., Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and Cambodia which are served by TAT’s campaign partner airlines, Thai Airways International and Thai Smile Airways.
Visitors travelling on the partner airlines on any of their flights until 30 September, 2019, will be eligible to receive discounts of 5-50% on a broad range of products and services at the campaign’s partner retail shopping outlets, The Mall Group, Central Group and the Ratchprasong Business District Association in Bangkok while partner airlines will give shoppers an extra allowance of 5 kg per person on their return flight.