The Tourism Authority of Thailand is working hard to support its trade partners as it attempts to build Australian tourist numbers back up in the wake of August’s Bangkok bombing.
Last night, it held its Amazing Thailand Smile with Us event at the Establishment in Sydney where it launched its new logo and provided a product update.
The efforts are part of a strategy to boost the destination after the bombing saw September numbers from the Australian market decline 4% with overall numbers from January to September down 3%, marketing manager Sherly Handjojo told Travel Weekly. The Australian market is the destination’s seventh most significant.
“That’s relatively big for us,” she said. “We are trying to support everyone in the travel industry in terms of being able to boost their sales for example with training, incentives and marketing ideas. We’re working hard doing lots of things.”
Handjojo revealed the downturn in interest has mainly affected Bangkok.
“Some of the other destinations have actually picked up and are growing, for example Koh Samui and some of the smaller islands,” she said. Tourist spending per trip has also “significantly increased” this year, she added. Within the Oceania region over the nine months to September, tourism revenue generated rose an impressive 6.28% on the previous corresponding period.
The tourism body is now focused on growing tourism numbers across the board with the focus both on destinations that are already popular, and also the lesser known spots.
“There are other places with unbeatable activities, views and scenery that are perhaps even more beautiful than the ones they already know,” Handjojo said.
Among the promotional activities on the cards are the Loy Krathong Thai Water Festival which takes place in Parramatta next weekend. A television show called Explore Thailand will be aired in late December, early January showcasing some of the lesser known locations in central Thailand. It will also launch a major consumer competition on its website later this month.
On the trade side, TAT will launch its new online training scheme in the coming weeks with its annual roadshow to take place in Melbourne and Sydney on May 16 and 18 respectively.
Despite the local market challenges, the total number of visitors from around the world to Thailand in September rose 8.67% to 2,031,496 with 2015 looking set to be a record year for tourism.