The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently held the annual TAT Action Plan for 2018 meeting, which covers both international and domestic tourism. TAT’s marketing plan 2018 has been designed to serve the purpose of generating revenue and increase visitor arrivals, promote new ideas and follow the development agenda of Thailand 4.0 using the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy, as well as Inclusive Tourism that maintains a balance between the economy, society and the environment. All the strategies are in line with the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan and 2nd National Tourism Development Plan.
As 2017 is considered as a challenging year, TAT has been putting their best efforts on tourism marketing in order to stimulate the country’s economy. Many activities; such as, Village to the World, Creative Thailand and The Link have been created to highlight the Thai Local Experience. This has proven successful as the number of potential visitors and first-time visitors has increased significantly. Therefore, TAT will keep working on this concept for its action plan in 2018.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “TAT will use tourism to promote sustainable development with the community as the ultimate beneficiary. We believe this will pave the way for Thailand to be a preferred destination among international visitors.”
To be targeted over the 12-month period of the fiscal year 2018, beginning October 2017, the niche-market customer segments were finalised at the annual TAT Action Plan meeting held between 11-14 July, 2017.
For the international marketing plan strategy, TAT has segmented target customers worldwide ranging from first-timers to repeaters, senior citizens to sports enthusiasts. TAT will also emphasise on niche markets including, Weddings and Honeymoons, and Ladies, as well as continue to create a brand image as a high-end and Luxury Travel destination.
Gastronomy Tourism will be focussed on more, which is considered as an important part of the travel through local experiences. It is also one of the tools to boost the development of the country’s economy by adding value to products and services that are based on the unique Thai culture and ways of life. Some of the highlighted activities are the opening of the Michelin Guidebook Bangkok and Thailand will host the 4th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism.
The communication strategies for the international market will continue to use “Amazing Thailand”, which has been a popular and well-recognised marketing slogan for nearly 20 years. TAT will still use “Discover Amazing Stories in Amazing Thailand”.
In 2018, TAT will change its marketing angle slightly with a new concept of “Open to the New Shades of Thailand”. The concept will deepen the Unique Thai Local Experience to a Million Shades of Thailand. This will give more depth to the presentation of Thailand’s tourism, grow the business for grassroots tourism sector players, and enhance the country’s image as a land of amazing diversity worth discovering further.
For the strategy for the domestic market, TAT will focus on increasing the travel frequency of potential groups (Silver Age, Millennials, Families, Gen-Y, Multi-Generation, and Ladies), decongest popular areas, promote travel during weekdays, strengthen society and preserve the environment.
The domestic marketing campaign in 2018, will further enhance the slogan, “Unique Thai Local Experience”. The concept will promote tourism and create value among the Thai people to persuade them to enjoy a trip in Thailand and go deeper in pursuit of unforgettable experiences.
Some examples of new initiatives for domestic marketing by TAT include creating awareness of waste management during local festivals, promoting creative gastronomy, and building tourism networks to be environmentally conscious.
Mr. Yuthasak said, “Clearly the age of mass-marketing is over. The future lies in sharply focussed marketing campaigns, which can deliver measurable results. These will help us maintain a strong brand presence, improve the efficiency of our marketing spend, address the seasonality factor, decongest popular destinations and establish closer cooperation with potential partners that include many industry businesses and local communities who can contribute to the success of our objectives.”
The number of visitors from January – June 2017, reached 17 million creating income of 876 billion Baht in which the China market was the first generator followed by Russia and Malaysia. Realising the importance that tourism has for the country’s economy, the Royal Thai Government has set a growth of not less than 8 per cent increase in tourism revenue for 2018.