Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul unveiled the latest tourism promotional extravaganza, the “Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018” at the World Travel Market 2017 (WTM) held in London, from 6 to 8 November.
Over 100 delegates were invited to join the WTM 2017 Thailand Networking Lunch including representatives of travel agents, media and TAT executives.
To be marked officially between 1 November, 2017 to 1 January, 2019, the “Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018” has been designed to further strengthen the Thai tourism industry by making it more sustainable, focus on quality tourism and the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy, and maintain a balance between the economy, society and the environment.
The ‘Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018’ has been designed to support the national tourism development plan with a busy calendar of international events to be hosted in 2017 and 2018. It will see the Thai travel and tourism industry move into a new era of development and further underscore its new status as a nationwide movement that yields significant benefits for national security, the economy, society, well-being and foreign relations.
Its overarching objective is to ensure that Thailand remains a Preferred Destination and delivers a Quality Product, thus boosting the average length of stay, expenditure and repeat visitation. In 2018, the marketing strategy will continue to position Thailand as a ‘Preferred Destination.’
The “Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018” will highlight activities based on 13 core niche products: Sports, Gastronomy, Maritime tourism, Wedding and Honeymoon, Medical and Wellness, Community-based Tourism, Leisure, Green Tourism, Night Tourism, MICE, Trade Fairs, B2B Marketing Activity and Logistics.
Communication strategies for the Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018 can be categorised into 4S’: Saneh or Charm (as reflected in the Thai people, Thai textile, etc.), Sanook or Joy (sports events), Sabai or Relaxing (Thai massage), and Sut Saep or Delicious (fine street food / fine dining / Michelin star restaurants).
A number of international events and competitions are coming up in Thailand in the months ahead. For example:
- Air Race 1 World Cup Thailand will be held between 17-19 November, 2017, at the U–Tapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport, Chon Buri.
- The ASEAN Tourism Forum to be held in Chiang Mai in January 2018.
- SportAccord Convention 2018 to be held from 15–20 April, 2018, at the Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre. SportAccord Convention is the world’s premier and most exclusive annual event at the service of sport.
- 4th UN World Tourism Organisation Conference on Gastronomy to be held in May 2018.
- MotoGP World Championship 2018; Thailand is set to get a place on the MotoGP World Championship in October 2018, at the Buri Ram Circuit.
Thailand is also proud to be seeing the emergence of many well-recognised, award-winning products and services. For example, CNN has ranked:
- The Marketing Organization for Farmers Market (Or Tor Kor) fourth of the 10 best markets in the world
- Bangkok is the best street food city in the world
- Seven Thai dishes in the CNN Travel World’s 50 Best Foods list: Tom Yam Kung in fourth place, Phat Thai (fifth), Som Tam Papaya Salad (sixth), Massaman Curry (10th), Green Curry (19th), Chicken Fried Rice (24th) and Mu Nam Tok or spicy minced pork salad (36th)
- Isan (Thailand’s Northeast) as one of the top 17 places to visit in 2017
In addition, MasterCard announced Bangkok as the Number One Destination Cities in its Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2017. The UN has ranked Thailand the second happiest country in ASEAN, third in Asia and 32nd in the world. The Daily Mirror, a British newspaper, reported that Bangkok was the cheapest city in the Post Office Travel Money’s Long-Haul City Costs Barometer for 2017.
In January-September 2017, Thailand welcomed 26.10 million tourists, up 5.40 percent over the same period of 2016.