Dubai, 27 March, 2022 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) presented Thailand’s innovation approach on digital tourism in line with key strategies under the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022: Amazing New Chapters’ tourism campaign at the Global Tourism Forum (GTF) 2022: Dubai Blockchain for Travel, which was held yesterday (26 March).

Mr. Nithee Seeprae, TAT Deputy Governor for Digitalisation, Research, and Development, highlighted Thailand’s readiness on digital tourism during the GTF 2022’s session 5 on Blockchain Technology a Bridge to Smart Tourism. Also sharing knowledge at the session were Ms. Sumaira Isaacs, CEO of the World Tourism Forum Institute, and Ms. Angela Gerekou, President, Greek National Tourism Organisation, with Ms. Neslihan Gündeş, Director of Partnerships and Board Affairs, World Tourism Forum Institute, as the session’s moderator.

Mr. Nithee said as the world exited the COVID-19 pandemic, TAT launched the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022: Amazing New Chapters’ tourism campaign with the aim to revitalise and transform Thai tourism towards stronger and sustainable, more responsible, more digital, and more inclusive tourism growth in response to the growing trend under the new normal.

“There is opportunity in every crisis. The Coronavirus pandemic hit Thai tourism particularly hard, but it has also brought unprecedented digital transformation that now plays a pivotal role in accelerating the country’s tourism ecosystem to quality and sustainability. As such, TAT is adopting ‘smart tourism’ in our strategy aimed at elevating Thai tourism’s competitiveness, while promoting Thailand as a remote workers friendly destination among tech savvy travellers and digital nomads,” Mr. Nithee said.

TAT’s innovation approach on digital tourism is based on 3 key factors.

Firstly, TAT is placing emphasis on domestic Thai tourists by sharing knowledge and building trust on the readiness of Thailand’s digital tourism. A ‘Durian Farm Virtual Tour’ platform was recently launched to allow tourists to visit a farm in the virtual world and purchase real fruit to be delivered to them. Similar projects are underway to create personalised experiences in the Metaverse virtual world and pave the way for the utilisation of cryptocurrency. In addition, TAT is looking at utilising a Non-fungible Token (NFT) to promote Thai tourism through digital art  starting with local wisdom products; such as, paintings, graphics, videos, and music.

Secondly, still focusing on creating greater awareness on Thailand’s digital tourism among domestic Thai tourists, TAT has initiated a “Thailand Holideals” project on holideals.tourismthailand.org, offering special tourism packages, privileges, and tour promotions from tourism businesses up and down the country that can be purchased using a digital token, thus making it the first time in Thailand that a digital token can be used for tourism products and services.

Thirdly, TAT is promoting Thailand as a remote workers friendly destination by placing emphasis on a new generation of international travellers, including the digital native, Gen Z, and digital nomads. This is in response to a growing trend in light of the Coronavirus pandemic whereby people work remotely and enjoy a vacation. This group of travellers are moving to cryptocurrency payments, and among several projects underway, a TAT NFT will be introduced to enhance the international awareness of local Thai arts and crafts.

About GTF 2022

The Global Tourism Forum (GTF), the World Tourism Forum Institute (WTFI)’s premier flagship, is an international collaboration platform focused on addressing the challenges for the travel industry. Through this event, the WTFI aims to be at the forefront of this revolution by presenting new options to a new generation of travellers with an alternative way to purchase travel and all opportunities with blockchain revolution. Several high-profile speakers and influencers will be attending the event from both the ecosystems, including Mr. François Hollande, former President of France, Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Forum Institute and former Secretary-General of the UNWTO, and Mr. Michael Gebert, Chairman of the European Blockchain Association. For more information, visit: https://www.globaltourismforum.org/dubai-blockchain-for-travel/.