NEW NICHE TOURISM PRODUCTS
The growing concern worldwide over global warming and climate change combined with rising oil prices, the energy crisis and the economic slowdown has led to dramatic changes in consumer attitudes, travel seasonality and other travel patterns and trends. It is influencing individual choices regarding travel destinations, the length of trips and other factors such as the availability of environmentally-friendly modes of transport and environmentally-responsible service providers.
World travellers are also increasingly looking for quality products and experiences that offer value for money, especially environmentally-friendly travel and tourism related products and services as well as those that enable them to take part in local community activities.
As the National Tourism Organization (NTO), TAT recognizes the significance of these shifts in lifestyle preferences and travel trends. By keeping pace with the latest trends in global travel, this strengthens Thailand’s global image as a dynamic and relevant ‘brand.’
CLUSTERS OF NEW TOURISM PRODUCTS In addition to Green Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Office of Product Development is working with TAT and the Thai tourism industry to further develop and promote new tourism products in 14 different clusters.
These include hot springs, ecotourism, adventure travel, Lanna culture and civilization, World Heritage Sites, tropical rainforests, way of life along the rivers and waterways of the Central Plains, Royal Coast, The Wonders of the Two Oceans, Travel along the Mekong River, the Dinosaur Route, Merit-making, Lower Isan, Agotourism Wonders and Active Beach.
For international visitors, the kingdom’s beach destinations remain the most popular choices in the range of products on offer.
GREEN TOURISMTAT’S ‘SEVEN GREENS’ CONCEPTGreen Heart. Green Logistics. Green Destinations. Green Communities. Green Activities. Green Service. Green Plus.
With an ever-increasing number of well-informed and discerning world travellers looking to significantly reduce their carbon footprint by opting for environmentally-friendly travel and tourism related products and services, the adoption of a green agenda for Thailand ensures that the destination and the Thai tourism industry retain international competitiveness.
By embracing green initiatives, the Thai tourism industry is communicating its stand and positioning the Thai kingdom as an environmentally-responsible player on the world stage. The Thai tourism industry has voiced strong support for global efforts to minimize and offset the effects of global warming which are causing severe climate change in various parts of the world.
TAT’s Green initiatives for Thai tourism consist of four key elements:
The implementation of the Seven Greens concept (outlined below).
The creation and development of a database of environmentally-responsible tourism operators and service providers offering green or environmentally-friendly tourism products and services. (Raising the local and international visibility and awareness of these green tourism operators and service providers falls within TAT’s tourism promotion mandate.)
The development or selection of green tourism destinations that are positive role models
The organization of meetings, conferences and educational seminars on tourism in this new era
TAT’s Seven Greens programme provides a conceptual framework and establishes practical guidelines for carefully balancing tourism promotion and a healthy, sustainable environment. It facilitates the formation of strategic partnerships and provides a cooperative framework for the implementation of green initiatives in the seven areas — Green Heart, Green Logistics, Green Destinations, Green Communities, Green Activities, Green Service and Green Plus.