Thailand to promote domestic tourism after severe flooding


The Tourism Authority of Thailand has designed a five-pronged strategy to rebuild domestic tourism after the severe flooding.

Thawatchai Arunyik, deputy governor for domestic marketing, said the first measure, intra-regional travel, is set to start this week and run until the end of January. People will be encouraged to visit nearby attractions rather than go across regions. That would continue to augment business in communities.

The authority will not focus on already crowded destinations such as Pattaya, Hua Hin and Kanchanaburi.

Four plans are set for next year, as the flooding will have completely disappeared by then. It will begin with cross-region travel by encouraging people from all parts of the country to visit the Central region and Bangkok.

“TAT also will invite 10 travel agents from each province or more than 700 agents in January to see attractions in the Central region so they can develop packages afterward,” he said.

TAT later will boost niche markets like medical and corporate in unaffected regions, particularly the Northeast. The plan is expected to start in January.

Health and healing will also get attention in the coming year in order to assist people to release stress and ease their pains.

Expat associations in major cities, including Pattaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Samui and Phuket would be asked to help promote domestic tourism as well as to communicate with their people overseas about the tourism situation in Thailand after the flood.

“We call this project ‘Local to Global’. We’ll ask Scandinavians in Hua Hin, Japanese in Chiang Mai, Germans in the Northeast and Europeans in Pattaya to help invite tourists to Thailand after the flooding,” he said.

TAT plans to spend Bt70 million on the strategy. All 35 TAT offices nationwide are involved in the preparations.

Chumpol Silpa-archa, a deputy prime minister and the tourism minister, ordered organisations to prepare special relief campaigns and implement them immediately after the flood crisis dissipates. TAT predicts that the flooding would cause domestic travel to drop by 2 per cent or 1.8 million trips from the forecast 91 million trips this year. However, TAT has not yet revised the projection as it is waiting for the situation to settle down first.