Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, Tourism Authority of Thailand, delivered the following speech at Thailand Briefing Networking Lunch, ITB 2018, Berlin, Germany, on Friday, 9 March 2018.
Sawasdee khrap and good afternoon.
Distinguished guests, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen. Before I start my presentation I think you’ve heard the tourism policy from His Excellency, therefore I would like to point out two main issues.
First one is the Thai tourism performance in 2017. Secondly is the marketing and communications direction in 2018. In 2017, Thailand welcomed 35 million visitors generating a total income of 1.82 trillion Baht. It is a truly remarkable achievement that the entire Thai tourism industry can be proud of. It is a tribute to the diversity of our tourism offerings and Thai local experiences that have captured the imagination of the global travelling community.
– China is now our leading source market with arrivals of 9.80 million visitors. Other top markets are Malaysia, South Korea, Lao PDR. and Japan.
– Arrivals from Europe have historically played a major role in the development of Thai tourism. In 2017,
European visitor arrivals totalled more than 6.51 million, generating 480 million Baht in revenue.
The top five highest source markets in Europe in 2017 were Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and East Europe.
The highest growth came from the Russia market, registering 23.50 percent over 2016, which reflects a strongly rebounding economy. Another interesting market is Eastern Europe, which grew by 17.40 percent. This is a positive sign after we opened our office in Prague in late 2016. In 2018, TAT has set a growth target of eight percent in tourism revenue from the international market. We are targeting a tourism revenue increase of 7.29 percent over 2017 from the European market.
For the marketing efforts in Europe, in 2017, we had the Amazing Link project to promote local experiences in second-tier cites, and this year we will continue with this project and combine it with our marketing activities that will also focus on gastronomy experiences.
Thanks to better airline accessibility, which is our key success. Please accept our appreciation for the good marketing co-operations we always have and of course our national carriers, Thai Airways International and also Bangkok Airways that bring visitors from around the world to our major and secondary destinations according to the Minister’s policy.
This year, 2018, TAT will maintain a strong flow of visitors in a highly competitive environment. Its aim is to deliver a Quality Product, thus boosting the average length of stay, expenditure and repeat visitation.
There is also an enormous pool of first-time visitors waiting to be tapped from Central Europe, the CIS, Middle East and Eastern Europe.
We see a significant growth in both arrivals and receipts from Eastern Europe, especially Poland with its market size and the Czech Republic with a high spending rate per trip.
Apart from that, Canada will also be our targeted area. In April, TAT will open a new office in Toronto to expand new markets of first-time visitors.
Also for this year, we will shift from mass markets to more specific niche markets. To achieve this, we will target customers worldwide but more in depth, and in particular these segmentations:
Gen Y and millennials who are driven by digital social media and customer-focussed activities, as they love to explore new experiences which is in line with our strategy to promote second-tier cities.
Weddings and Honeymoons. We see strong potential from this segment as Thailand offers an array of touristic products and services. For example, to make the event a truly memorable one, couples can choose from a variety of ways to get married — on the beach, under water, in the midst of a rice field, or they can even plan their own style of wedding.
Ladies travelers is another key segment. They are true influencers in their networks no matter if they are friend or member of the family. If they are impressed, then their word of mouth will spread widely and quickly. Apart from that, they are high spenders, and Thailand has a variety of tourism products and services to serve their needs including beauty and spa services, shopping, dining, lifestyle activities and much more. And unexpectedly, the ‘Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor’, the 35 millionth visitor was a lady from Munich, Germany.
Luxperience: Thailand has seen the emergence of elegant boutique resorts offering privacy and seclusion, upscale restaurants on the rooftops of many of our five star hotels, quality spas and health centres. High networth individuals can also enjoy well-equipped yachts and cruises in Phuket and Pattaya to accommodate the need of island hoppers.
The communication strategies for the international market will continue to use “Amazing Thailand”, which has been a popular and well-recognised marketing slogan for 20 years. In 2018, TAT has added to the brand with a new communication campaign called “Open to the New Shades”.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I have to say that the strength of Thailand is diversity, so this communication campaign will focus on the strengths of the country. “Open to the New Shades”. “OPEN” your minds and hearts to deepen and widen your experience into a new perception of attractions and variety of experiences in Thailand.
The communication campaign will introduce brand-new products to visitors or reveal a new charming character of well-known destinations through creativity. This campaign is aimed at attracting more repeat visitors and also first-time visitors. From this concept, we will look into the million shades of Thailand. We have potential tourism products reflecting this; such as, Gastronomy, Nature/Beach, Arts and Craft, Culture, and Way of Life.
We believe this campaign will help initiate ideas for tourists to explore millions of shades of Thailand that fulfill their new pleasurable experiences even if it is a familiar destination and meanwhile enforce the strength of the locals.
To make you better understand the mood and tone about the products under the “Open to the New Shades”, I would like to show you this VDO.
In the souvenir bag that you will be given after the function, we already provide the newly printed “Open to the New Shades” manual that will allow you to explore the million shades of tourism products in Thailand.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The future of tourism will lie in the ability of everyone to create their own happiness, especially the emerging generation of young millennials. What could be more fun than designing your own trip with a personalized selection of “Mix and Match options”. The “Amazing Thailand” brand gives you this opportunity all the time wherever you go in Thailand. As such, this new campaign will be customised to accommodate every single target segment and market.
“Open to the New Shades” will make amazing Thailand stay closer than ever to the customer and offer them a new experience that they will have never had before. To all our friends amongst the tour operators here, I believe that all forms of marketing communications should play a role in driving business for you. The TAT offices in Europe will work closely with you to seek your ongoing support. We believe it will help your business grow in the right direction. Thank you for being our strategic partners in this effort.
To our friends in the media, TAT will step up its marketing communications material in line with the objectives to give greater prominence to unique local experiences of Thailand on the world stage. I wish this information will be shared with your readers and viewers.
We are looking forward to welcoming you all again in Amazing Thailand. Last but not least, for anyone who still has a question about our communication campaign “Open to the New Shades”, here is the answer.
Thank you and sawasdee khrap.