- Özgür Töre
Thailand welcomed 11.8 million international tourists and recorded 189 million domestic trips in 2022. It is recognized as a milestone achievement for the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022’ campaign.
The 2022 tourism figures reflected the successful restoration of the country’s tourism industry from the concerted efforts of all stakeholders.
With this tourism revival continuing to pick up momentum amid volatile global challenges, Thailand is aiming for 2.38 trillion Baht (66.6 billion euro or 66 billion USD) in overall tourism revenue in 2023 – representing a return to 80% of the pre-pandemic level seen in 2019.
Through the “Visit Thailand Year 2023: Amazing New Chapters” campaign, The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is placing emphasis on the promotion and development of high value and sustainable tourism in Thailand. This includes elevating the tourism supply (Shape Supply) with an aim to offer experience-based tourism, and leveraging the kingdom’s 5F soft-power foundations – Food, Film, Festival, Fight and Fashion – to offer meaningful travel experiences in Thailand.
TAT will continue to communicate and strengthen the long-standing ‘Amazing Thailand’ branding in its global campaign. This will be accentuated by the “Amazing New Chapters” concept to promote Thai soft-power cultural values and inspire travellers from around the world to visit Thailand once again, and further reaffirm the kingdom’s well-established status as one of the world’s most popular holiday spots.
Meanwhile, it is introducing the new “Create Your Right Moment” concept in its domestic campaign to inspire domestic travellers to travel more within the country.
“Amazing 5F and More”
TAT is introducing the new “Amazing 5F and More” concept, aimed at delivering meaningful travel experiences in various aspects such as wellness, luxury, and Thainess. At the same time, it is placing focus on enhancing the quality of tourism products and services in order to drive the Thai tourism industry towards sustainable growth. Among key activities include the Good Host New Chapter Season 2 project, the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) certification, and the 14th Thailand Tourism Awards.
A series of events to highlight the kingdom’s 5F soft-power foundations – Food, Film, Festival, Fight and Fashion – will take place throughout the year.
- Food – at least two events are planned: Amazing Thai Tastes during March-June and Bangkok International Food Festival in June.
- Festival – events include Chinese New Year in January, Songkran Thai New Year in April, and Loi Krathong in November.
- Film – the Amazing Film Festival Experience in August, while a Y series Meet & Greet event is being planned.
- Fight – Amazing Muay Thai Festival in February.
- Fashion – Valentine Fashion TV Beach Award Festival in February.
Policy and Planning
To drive tourism towards sustainability, TAT is adopting the BCG Model to highlight Gastronomy Tourism. By collecting and analysing data under ‘From Policy Lab to Real Product’ strategy, TAT has come up with the Best Practice Model to showcase organic cuisine and to transform to inclusive business and smart organic farmer, which leads to generating income for the local community.
Technology and Innovation
Seeing ‘Digital as a Game Changer’,TAT leverages technology and innovation to add value and transform Thai tourism to Smart Tourism. It is tapping into Digital Asset holders via the TAT NFTs projects, promoting Thai tourism products and services with virtual arts and Metaverse. It introduces the ‘3I’ concept: Intelligence – using Big Data and building Digital Literacy for TAT employees, Innovation – developing new innovation and Travel Tech, and Investment – investing in digital transformation, such as Start-up, Venture Capital, Cloud funding, etc.
TAT is committed to developing its human resources to be ready to support and collaborate with the Thai tourism industry, while strengthening and improving its work processes through innovation and technology.
TAT is adopting the ‘Great Resumption Episode II’ strategy for short-haul markets.
1) China is back – Placing focus on tapping emerging segments and enhancing cooperation with the airlines to increase air access flights to cater to the increasing demands and promoting new modes of travelling, such as an overland border.
2) 7 Digits Target – Focusing on rapidly growing markets, such as China, Malaysia, India, and South Korea, as well as cooperating with partner agents and airlines.
3) Colour Your Life by Amazing Thailand – Seamlessly integrating the Amazing Thailand brand in the tourist’s slice of life through on-site and virtual marketing promotional events.
4) Responsible Tourism – Supporting CSR and responsible tourism projects, such as Reborn the Nature to advocate tourism sustainability.
5) 2 Tier, Second to None – Encouraging visitors to visit the emerging destinations, while sourcing new tourist segments from secondary cities in South Korea, China, India, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
For long-haul markets, TAT is adopting the ‘A-B-C-D Fast Forward’ strategy.
A – Airline Focus to continue the collaboration with the leading airlines; such as, Qatar Airways, Etihad, and Oman Air to expand new routes and increase the frequency of direct flights.
B – Big Cities and Beyond to penetrate new markets in major and secondary cities; such as Bucharest in Romania, and Sofia in Bulgaria.
C – Collaboration is Key to work with new partners including airlines; such as, Delta Airlines, Air Canada, FlyDubai, and Aeroflot, and online travel agency; such as, Almosafer and SAGA Holidays.
D – Destination for All to promote Thailand as an “All-year round Destination” to meet the demand for visitors with regardless of seasons and with all segments including family, medical and wellness in the Middle East or the LGBTQ+ in Europe and America.
TAT is placing focus on ‘Value over Volume’ under the new ‘Travel Thailand in Limited Edition’ concept highlighting the 5F Soft Powers to cater to the various needs of domestic travellers.
Various events are being planned for 2023 to inspire domestic travel, including Travel 365 days in Amazing Thailand, Vijit Thailand 2023, and Amazing Thailand Festival Experience 2023.
TAT is also continuing its efforts to encourage domestic travellers to visit emerging destinations during weekdays to expand the expenditure and balance the capacity of the destinations.
TAT expects to welcome 25 million international tourists and inspire 250 million domestic trips in 2023. The target for overall tourism revenue is 2.38 trillion Baht (66 billion USD) comprising 670-880 billion Baht from domestic tourism and 1.5 trillion Baht (US$45.4 billion) from international tourism.