Bangkok, Thailand, 24 June, 2008 — As part of its strategy to promote Thailand’s tourism in East Asia in line with its 2008 marketing plan, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) led 130 representatives from the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association (CMTBA) and Phuket Tourist Association (PTA), along with tourism operators, on a series of road shows in Korea.
2008 is the 50th Anniversary of Thai-Korean diplomatic relations. With tourist arrivals from Korea reaching 1 million in 2007, TAT this year has ambitiously aimed to further increase tourism revenue from Korea, a quality market with high spending tourists. Right now, Phuket and Chiang Mai are the two most popular destinations after Bangkok, and TAT believes that the CMTBA and PTA stand a great chance of seeing substantial growth from the East Asian country.
“Although it is too early to see tangible results in terms of business, the response has so far been huge, and all signs indicate that we can expect more visitors from this high spending market,” noted Mr. Sansern Ngaorungsi, Director of the East Asia Region Department.
During these road shows, he added, TAT promoted the country, its culture and also re-categorized tourist attractions based on the heavily promoted “Seven Wonders of Amazing Thailand” concept.
In early June, TAT’s Seoul office, together with Team Thailand, comprising the Royal Thai Embassy led by Thai Ambassador to Korea H.E. Mr. Vasin Teeravechyan, the Defence Attache’ Office, the Office of Commercial Affairs and Thai Airways International, participated in the Korea Travel Fair (KOFTA 2008) held from 5-8 June at the COEX Mall, Seoul, a large consumer fair that attracted approximately 80,000 visitors. At the fair, apart from distributing travel promotion materials and displaying local arts and crafts, TAT also strongly promoted “Loi Krathong” in order to attract more Korean visitors to Thailand during this festival. KOFTA is the largest and most important travel fair in Korea, having been held for 18 consecutive years in which this year travel-related organizations from 48 countries attended the event. At the fair, TAT won two prestigious awards: The Best Booth Design Award and The Best Folklore Performance Award.
TAT also organized the Thailand Festival and Road Show 2008 twice on 10 and 12 June at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul and the Lotte Hotel in Pusan, respectively. Joining the road show were 37 tourism organizations from Thailand, as well as 300 Korean tourism operators and members of the Press. During the event, operators from the two countries had a chance to meet and discuss issues related to tourism.
Korea is currently the third largest Asian market for Thailand after Malaysia and Japan. The latter has been a strong market for Thai tourism for years, while during the last couple of years Korea has been catching up with its neighbour in terms of tourist arrivals to the kingdom, thanks to TAT’s heavy promotional campaigns. In 2007, the country welcomed 1,075,516 visitor arrivals from Korea and with a specific focus on East Asia this year, TAT expects to see some growth in the market.
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