Tourism Authority of Thailand and Chiang Mai Province Host Key Middle East Travel Professionals and Media at a Pre-ATM Luncheon
Focus of 2013- Tailor Made Tourism, Tourism Expansion into Levant and Digital Marketing
(Dubai, 6th May 2013) The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Dubai and Middle East Office in conjunction with Chiang Mai Province, Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization, Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association and Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, yesterday, May 5th, hosted a pre-Arabian Travel Market (ATM) Business Networking Luncheon at the Dusit Thani Hotel Dubai. Local UAE representatives from the travel industry and media met with a selection of key representatives from across Chiang Mai including tour operators, hotelier, airline and amusement creators.
Speaking at the event, Mr.Tanin Subhasean,Governor of Chiang Mai said: “This pre-ATM event has provided the ideal opportunity for the regions’ travel professionals to meet with our delegation from Chiang Mai and discover the many attractions which the Northern Province can offer the Middle East tourist. Famous for the annual Flower Festival, Chiang Mai is renowned for its natural beauty; the hills and valleys which provide natural habitats to a wide variety of tropical as well as temperate flowers. Considered one of Asia’s most attractive tourist destinations Chiang Mai is also one of the locations where visitors can enjoy an Experiential Holiday’ and discover some of Thailands’ ancient crafts and traditions from cooking to the ancient skill of Thai massage. Visitors to Chiang Mai can also enjoy golf, trekking and elephant riding as well as learn about some of Thailands handicrafts including the production of Thai silk and silver.”
From Thai Boxing to growing rice an ‘Experiential Holiday’, a concept recently introduced by TAT invites visitors to discover some of Thailand’s ancient crafts and traditions as well as enjoy the beauty of the country. In locations across Thailand including Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the island of Koh Samui, visitors get to team up with local Thai experts to learn a new art as well as embark upon an inner journey of discovery.
Also speaking at the event was Mr. Chalermsak Suaranat TAT Director Dubai and Middle East “During the last two years the number of visitors to Thailand from the Middle East has grown considerably. While the UAE remains in top position bringing 108,994 visitors to Thailand in 2012, other GCC countries are also emerging as potential expanding markets including Oman, KSA and Kuwait. In 2012 Oman produced 65,690 visitors to Thailand, an increase of 21.7% compared to 2011. This was the highest increase across the Middle East region. To further boost tourism from the Middle East region we will be organising a series of road shows and familiarisation trips to Thailand, inviting media from the GCC as well as the Levant region including Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt to promote the destination.”
A co-host at the pre-Arabian Travel Market (ATM) Business Networking Luncheon was the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) who were there to promote Thailand’s MICE facilities to the Middle East market. As a Thai government agency, the TCEB successfully supports Thailand’s large meetings and the incentive market as well as the country’s international conventions and exhibitions.Locations in Thailnad which can accommodate large international MICE groups include Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Pattaya. The new Chiang Mai International Convention Centre is due to open in May 2013 and will host the first international conference to be promoted through the government campaign of Chiang Mai MICE year 2013. In 2012 the revenue from the international convention and exhibition market was THB 70,000 million (US$2,386 million), a 15% increase on the years’ projected target and attracted 890,000 delegates.
Throughout the remainder of 2013 the TAT Dubai & Middle East Office will be implementing a range of marketing strategies to attract Middle East tourists through the ‘Charm of Thainess’ which includes ‘Thai Experience’, ‘Thai Way of Life’ and ‘Thai Culture’. TAT Dubai will also continue to reinforce the Thailand brand “Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You”, with a core focus on authenticity, value for money, and hospitality.In a recent survey conducted by the TripAdvisor travel site, Bangkok was rated the worlds’ second Best City next to New york for tourist shopping and third Best City for Value for Money. Thailand was also among the top 10 for key tourism attributes including Food, Beaches, Nightlife, Shopping and Accommodation.
Mr. Chalermsak Suaranat added: “Thailand offers an enormous variety of products and services which can cater to a cross section of target markets, travellers’ interests, age and income levels. In 2013 we will be focusing more on offering tailor made itineraries where we customise each individual clients’ requirement from a holiday in Thailand – whether it be group or individual. Middle East travelers are perfectly suited for this campaign as we focus more on the needs of each individual, couple, group or family.”
Responding to new social media trends TAT is working on enhancing their digital marketing including revamping the TAT Dubai & Middle East website. “The Internet has completely changed consumer behaviour, especially in the way people buy their travel products. Search and recommendation tools are increasingly important and consumers are eager to share their experiences via social media including Facebook and Twitter”, said Mr. Chalermsak Suaranat. “In response to this and to take advantage of the burgeoning social media networks, we TAT have created a package of online marketing strategies which include increasing co-operation with leading online channels including Facebook, Google (Street View), TripAdvisor and Zizzee”. The revamped TAT Dubai & Middle East website was launched in February and as well as being available in English, Arabic and Farsi, also contains many new features which support a number of mobile devices. User-friendly pages also allow easy access for downloading information.
TAT Dubai & Middle East also announced it will continue to focus on the four niche markets, Health and Wellness, Wedding and Honeymoon, Green Tourism and Golf to target tourism from the Middle East. “Compared to other parts of the world these four tourism products offer the Middle East tourist exceptional value for money,” said Mr. Chalermsak Suaranat. For Health and Wellness, major and minor surgery along with cosmetics and dental care at the kingdom’s many numerous and highly qualified and specialized hospitals will be promoted as too will Thailand’s spa and wellbeing centres. For the wedding and honeymoon market, TAT will introduce major romantic attractions in northern and southern Thailand with a focus on its many idyllic locations, outstanding hospitality, and expertise in planning weddings and events. Green Tourism will highlight the kingdom’s more than 100 green hotels and 50 ready-to-market eco-friendly products from around the country, and Golf will introduce the country’s more than 200 golf courses and its reputation for its female caddies renowned for being the most charming and knowledgeable in the world.
For more information contact:
Tourism Authority of Thailand, Dubai & Middle East Office
133 Sheikh Zayed Road, Apartment # 1804,
Dusit Thani Dubai,P.O. Box 450019, Dubai, U.A.E
Tel: +971 4 324 0184 Fax: +971 4 325 0187
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[About Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)]
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) was established on the 18th March 1960. TAT was the first organization in Thailand to be specifically responsible for the promotion of tourism. TAT supplies information and data on tourist areas to the public, publicizes Thailand with the intention of encouraging both Thai and international tourists to travel in and around Thailand, conducts studies to set development plans for tourist destinations, and co-operates with and supports the production and development of personnel in the field of tourism. Since the inception of the first local office of TAT in Chiang Mai in 1968, there are now 35 regional offices throughout Thailand. TAT has also established many overseas offices the first being in New York, which was opened in 1965. During the past 30 years, TAT has since established 26 more offices in different parts of the world, including the Dubai & Middle East Office, which is responsible for the promotion of Thailand within the GCC, the Levant, Iraq and Iran.