Destinations

Thailand sets course for 2016

Despite a challenging year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand finished up 2015 “quite happy” with numbers from the Australian market.

The year saw the destination rocked by a series of bombings, with the most recent taking place in August in Bangkok.

Back in November, TAT marketing manager Sherly Handjojo told Travel Weekly that it was working hard to build Australian tourist numbers back up after the bombing saw September numbers from the Australian market decline 4%.

Although numbers from the Australian market for 2015 finished up down 3%, Handjojo told Travel Weekly that TAT was “quite happy” with the end result.

“From what I heard across the board in Asia, that’s still a very good number because of the weakening of the Aussie dollar,” she said.

Furthermore, Australian tourism revenue numbers actually climbed 5% on 2014 for the year.

The next year will see TAT focus on promoting its high end luxury product as well as its more niche offering in the areas of golf, weddings and wellness.

Check out its luxury promotional video here:

“We’re very busy dealing with all these operators just to get the word out there,” Handjojo said.

In May, it will hold its annual roadshow for travel agents which will take place in Auckland on May 12, Melbourne on May 16 and Sydney on May 18. The organisation also launched its new online training program last month which has been well received by the trade, Handjojo revealed.

“Basically this year our biggest message to the Australian market is that we want to position Thailand as being a quality leisure destination,” she said.

This will be achieved through promoting the culture of Thailand with its tagline for this year – “We make you smile”.

“For the following years as well, the tourism development plan is to disperse income to local communities around Thailand,” Handjojo said.

As part of the plan, TAT launched this video about popular dish Pad Thai on Tuesday as part of its Amazing Thailand Discover Amazing Stories initiative with the aim to attract travellers from around the world to experience everyday “Thainess” through the authentic experiences that make the destination unique.

Check out the video here:

Image credit: iStock

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