Tourism Authority of Thailand teams up with Alibaba’s Fliggy

AT delegation at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China

Bangkok, 18 September, 2018 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has formed a strategic partnership with Alibaba’s online travel subsidiary Fliggy.com, following last week’s conference between TAT and Fliggy Holiday at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.

The development followed the meeting between Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and Alibaba Group founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma, who visited Thailand in April, this year. The meeting included a possibility for TAT to team up with Alibaba to establish an online Thailand tourism platform.

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Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said the meeting in Hangzhou confirmed the partnership between the TAT and Fliggy Holiday, with discussion covering various dimensions aimed at improving Chinese tourists’ quality travel experience in Thailand and promoting emerging secondary Thai tourist destinations.

The partnership will allow TAT to enhance the awareness of major Thai destinations including Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai, and also to promote emerging secondary cities; such as, Chiang Rai, Satun, Hat Yai, Ratchaburi, Buri Ram and Chanthaburi.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn introduces secondary Thai tourist destinations to the Fliggy team

TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn introduces secondary Thai tourist destinations to the Fliggy team

Fliggy will take the lead in promoting new itineraries to Thailand. It also plans to launch its first title-sponsored event in Thailand, the New-year Electronic Music Festival in Pattaya, which will target young millennial Chinese tourists.

TAT will also assist Fliggy in ensuring a seamless travel experience for Alibaba members including fast-track immigration services and dedicated shuttle bus routes between the airport and accommodation.

For Phuket in particular, a masterplan for marine safety has been formalised. This includes a ‘Marine Surveillance and Assistance Centre’ for disaster prevention and mitigation, while an emergency weather alert system has also been ramped up. In addition, authorities have stepped up security measures at Phuket International Airport.

TAT and Fliggy also discussed co-operation to enhance tourist safety. TAT will provide support for a bilingual real-time notification system to be operated by Fliggy. The system will not only communicate with Chinese travellers on immediate safety concerns, but also educate them on potential problems throughout the year to avoid unnecessary risks when travelling in Thailand.   This will help ensure tourists’ safety at any destination across the kingdom.

“With the upcoming Chinese National Day that leads to the peak of Chinese outbound travel, Thailand is making the best effort on safety for tourists from China and other countries to enjoy an amazing holiday in our country,” said Mr. Yuthasak.

TAT delegation and the Fliggy team

TAT delegation and the Fliggy team after the meeting at at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China

Hong Kong travellers can now use automated immigration channels to enter Thailand

Bangkok, 17 September, 2018 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce that the Thai government has implemented automatic channels for Hong Kong Special Administration Region (SAR) passport holders to use at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports.

Under this cooperation, Hong Kong SAR passport holders who travel by air will be allowed to use automatic channels to enter Thailand. Reciprocal rights are also granted to holders of Thai passports who enroll using the e-channel services available for travel to Hong Kong.

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Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said the automatic channels were an important step that will help increase inbound tourist arrivals from Hong Kong.

“Seamless immigration processing for Hong Kong SAR passport holders is an important step in the right direction. The cooperation on the mutual use of automatic immigration services between the two sides will help enhance immigration processing and facilitate a greater flow of visitors to Thailand.

“Hong Kong travellers are a very important source market for Thailand. Most are repeat visitors who keep coming back to enjoy the many unique Thai local experiences Thailand has to offer and especially for delicious Thai food.”

The automatic channel is reserved for visitors who wish to enter Thailand for tourism purposes (a 30-day exemption scheme). For other types of visits, visitors need to apply for a visa through the regular immigration process at the Royal Thai Embassy in Hong Kong.

The Immigration Bureau of Thailand said that the decision to use the automatic channel was based on security and reciprocity as agreed by the Royal Thai Government and the Government of the Hong Kong SAR. It marks another significant step of close cooperation between the two sides and reflects the mutual efforts to promote closer ties since signing a visa exemption agreement in 1997.

The statistics from Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports show that the kingdom continues to be the all-time favourite for Hong Kong travellers.

In 2017. Thailand welcomed 820,894 visitors from Hong Kong, up from 751,264 recorded in 2016. Meanwhile, the revenue generated totalled 33.70 billion Baht when compared to 30.40 billion Baht earned in the previous year.

In 2018, between January and July, a total of 569,239 travellers from Hong Kong visited Thailand. Tourism revenue earned from the market during this year’s first seven-month period amounted to 23.84 billion Baht.

Thailand wins multiple Conde Nast Traveller’s 2018 Readers’ Travel Awards

Phang Nga-Samed Nang Chee Viewpoint (จุดชมวิวเสม็ดนางชี)
Samed Nang Chee Viewpoint, Phang Nga

Bangkok, 05 September, 2018 – As further evidence of its enduring popularity with travellers from all over the globe, Thailand has been voted the world’s Best Country for People by readers of Conde Nast Traveller UK in the 2018 Readers’ Travel Awards.

The honours continued with Thailand voted into 3rd spot in the Best Country category behind winner Italy and runner-up Greece.

Meanwhile, the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok and Six Senses Yao Noi in Phang Nga were voted into 4th and 5th spots, respectively in the Best Asia & the Indian Subcontinent Hotel category.  The resort island of Samui, in addition, earned the 9th spot on the top 20 list of the world’s Best Islands.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor, said: “That readers of Conde Nast Traveller, one of the world’s leading and most highly respected travel publications, have again this year seen fit to recognise Thailand for multiple best of the world awards, is extremely pleasing. These well-heeled travellers are discerning by nature and as such they honour us with their choices, in the most satisfying of ways.”

The TAT’s Amazing Thailand: Open to the New Shades communication concept introduced in visitor source markets worldwide, encourages visitors to Thailand to experience the kingdom from many different perspectives, both existing and new ones.

The winners of this year’s Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards were announced at a gala event on 4 September held at London’s Ham Yard Hotel, including the readers’ favourite islands, hotels, spas, cities, countries, airlines and cruise lines.

The full list of winners is featured in the October 2018 issue of Conde Nast Traveller UK, which goes on sale on 6 September.

Also see “Travel and hospitality Awards for Thailand and Thai tourist destinations as well as Tourism Authority of Thailand”

TAT continues King Bhumibol’s wisdom toward sustainable development

The “follow the royal wisdom in Rayong” route 1

Bangkok, 03 September, 2018 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) continues to follow the royal wisdom of the late King Bhumibol and bring His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn’s idea to disseminate and further implement royal projects with the development of major tourism routes in five regions.

Following the royal wisdom on sustainable development will encourage local people to use local experience to generate more income an develop their communities, thus this will build tourism sustainability in long term.

TAT also invites Thai people to join its online activity to vote for favourable tourism routes. Winners will receive the prize to join tourism routes, which follow the royal wisdom.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said the project on tourism route development to follow the royal wisdom is being organised in remembrance of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol and to continue his wisdom through community tourism development under the “Local Experience” concept. Travel with learning is impressive and supports income distribution to local communities, which will then sustainably develop the Thai tourism industry. The “tourism route development to follow the royal wisdom” project will present attractive tourism routes, which are linked with royal projects initiated by the late King Bhumibol to solve environmental problems from water resources, soil, to forest. This tourism project will also disseminate and follow his royal wisdom on Sufficiency Economy.

Currently, there are more than 4,700 royal projects nationwide, where Thai people can learn from the late King Bhumibol’s life works and apply with their daily lives and create new careers for community people. Several tourism destinations are very beautiful and attractive, showing the charming Thai culture and the opportunity of Thai tourism to welcome tourists from around the world.

Under this tourism project, five pilot tourism routes in five regions are designed to follow the royal wisdom and link with royal projects in each province. Backed by the story related to the royal projects, the five tourism destinations and tourism routes will be more interesting and there are many types of tourism destinations from OTOP villages, arts and craft centres, to trade centres.

TAT will invite ambassadors and diplomats from many countries to join a trip to learn local experiences and community tourism. They will be impressed with local culture in the five mentioned tourism routes and truly understand the link of tourism development and royal projects. The five pilot tourism routes are as following;

The “follow the royal wisdom in Chiang Mai” route comprises the Vichaya farm and Ban Rai Gong Khing Community in Chiang Mai.

The “follow the royal wisdom in Buri Ram” route comprises the improvement of Ton Lam Pa Tia Reservoir and Ban Khok Muang Community in Buri Ram.

The “follow the royal wisdom in Ratchaburi-Nakhon Pathom” route includes the 1-rai project to solve poverty under the Sufficiency Economy concept in the military learning center in Ratchburi and Ban Sala Din Community in Nakhon Pathom.

The “follow the royal wisdom in Rayong” route comprises the Pluak Daeng Development and Service Center under the royal initiative and Pak Nam Pra Sae Community in Rayong.

The “follow the royal wisdom in Nakhon Si Thammarat” route includes the Pak Panang River Basin Development project and Ban Laem Home Stay Community in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Meanwhile, TAT has launched various marketing activities to promote the “tourism route development to follow the royal wisdom” project via online channel under the “Travel to Follow the Royal Wisdom” activity. It opened for general people to vote for their favourite tourism routes from five short videos via www.tourismthailand.org/kingwisdom during 6-31 August, 2018. Winners will be announced on 7 September, 2018, and they will receive the tour packages to follow the royal wisdom.

Mr. Yuthasak said: “The tourism route development to follow the royal wisdom project is one among the policy to promote tourism along with community development, natural protection and culture conservation. They will be new alternatives for tourist destinations and tourists will be encouraged to respect and understand community people. TAT will expand this tourism project to cover more routes and communities in the future.”

TAT is confident that the “tourism route development to follow the royal wisdom” project will attract more tourists to visit local communities, promote new tourism routes and promote income distribution to communities. It expects tourism incomes in these new tourism routes will grow at least 20%.

TAT holds Amazing Thailand Health & Wellness Trade Meet 2018

Bangkok, 31 August 2018 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has staged the “Amazing Thailand Health & Wellness Trade Meet 2018” to promote the Kingdom as a health and wellness destination. The one-day event was held on 30 August, 2018, at The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok.

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TAT has invited a carefully selected group of 73 buyers specialising in various aspects of health, wellness and medical tourism from Australia, China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Russia, United Kingdom, the UAE, and Vietnam. These countries, along with Cambodia and Oman, are the top performing source markets for health, wellness and medical tourism in Thailand.

The buyers met with 30 Thai companies ranging from hospitals and beauty institutes to anti-aging experts and one Muay Thai boxing facility. Most of the Thai companies are located in Bangkok while others are based in Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Pattaya, Phuket, and Nonthaburi.

Srisuda Wanapinyosak-Amazing Thailand Health & Wellness Trade Meet 2018

Mrs. Srisuda Wanapinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor of International Marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas) said: “This annual showcase is part of our strategy to promote Thailand as a world-class destination for health and wellness tourism. According to a report by the Global Wellness Institute, in 2015, Thailand was one of the Top Ten Wellness Tourism Markets in the Asia-Pacific region and one of the Top Twenty Wellness Tourism Markets worldwide.

“The event enables the invited buyers to be updated with the significant improvements in the quality of our health and wellness facilities, services and products, while Thai sellers get an opportunity to come up to speed with new trends and market demands in various source markets.”

The entire global medical tourism market is estimated at US$50-60 billion annually, according to the Global Wellness Institute.

Health and wellness is one of a number of niche markets being promoted by TAT under the umbrella marketing concept of “Amazing Thailand: Open to the New Shades.” Some of the promising demographic segments include millennials and working women.

Recently, the Travel Weekly magazine from the UK announced that Thailand had been voted as the best destination for spa and wellness from the Best Destinations in the World.

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