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ASIA REGION 31

ASIA REGION 31 “Thainess” – the Charm of Thai Culture The Tourism Authority of Thailand promotes unique Thai products… and sustainability The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is a government agency with the objective of promoting tourism to the country on the basis of sustainable tourism, in line with maintaining the unique Thai identity and meeting international standards in order to achieve an economic, social and environmental balance. We asked Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, what key factors are influencing the success of this destination today? Suraphon Svetasreni Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand The marketing landscape is changing all the time, and in my point of view, any destination that can maintain sustainable development will survive and hopefully thrive. In the past, we focused on tourism development only for maximizing economic returns. In recent years, we have put more emphasis on balancing the three factors of the economy, environment and society so as to create sustainable tourism. In your role, what are your key priorities moving forward? As TAT is a marketing Number of Arrivals to Thailand by Nationality January - December 2012 organisation to promote the tourism industry, then in my role, I have to promote TAT to be a marketing organization of excellence with human resources who are able to adapt their ability to changing environment conditions. We have to be able to be a good coordinator between the government agencies and private sector. In addition, we have also implemented marketing strategy tools, what I call the DISCO blueprint. D: is for Digital Marketing: TAT has been using digital marketing to promote Thai tourism for many years, and we will continue to tap into a wider pool of travellers through social networks, online games, and mobile applications. I : is Image Building: TAT will continue to reinforce the essence of the Thailand brand Chon Buri Pattaya Floating Market 2012 2011 %∆ Nationality Number %Share Number %Share 2012/2011 China 2,789,345 12.51 1,721,247 8.95 62.05 Malaysia 2,560,963 11.48 2,500,280 13.00 2.43 Japan 1,371,253 6.15 1,127,893 5.87 21.58 Russia 1,317,387 5.91 1,054,187 5.48 24.97 Korea 1,169,131 5.24 1,006,283 5.23 16.18 India 1,015,865 4.55 914,971 4.76 11.03 Indonesia 448,748 2.01 370,795 1.93 21.02 Source of Data: Immigration Bureau, Police Department. Thailand also has its own unique culture of “Thainess” that makes the country different from other destinations image, “Amazing Thailand: Always Amazes You”, with a focus on Authenticity, Value for Money, and Hospitality. According to the FutureBrand Country Brand Index 2012-13 (CBI), Thailand has consistently performed well for the Top list of Value for Money as well as perceived as eighth of the Top 25 tourism, tenth for Food, eleventh for Shopping, tenth for Beach, and ninth for nightlife in the world-class brand. S : is Sustainablility: Travellers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their own travel plans with a growing number willing to pay more for “green” options. TAT has long promoted sustainable tourism through the concept of the Seven Greens, which encourages Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) among operators. We have collaborated with various partners to identify interesting options for ecofriendly travel; such as, the Green Hotels, the Green Islands of Ko Chang, and newer environmentallyfriendly tourism products. C: is Crystallization & Crisis Management: Through a combination of digital media tools and traditional channels, TAT is able to communicate accurate information that tourists need when a crisis situation occurs. Planning for such contingencies is becoming increasingly important in these days of constant change and unpredictable events. O : is Organizational Management: This is designed to boost internal organizational efficiency by making TAT a true learning organization in which TAT staff are presented with opportunities to undergo core competency training to further sharpen their marketing skills and individual capabilities. All in all, what differentiates Thailand as a destination? Apart from the variety of tourism resources, Thailand also has its own unique culture of “Thainess” that makes the country different from other destinations. The charm of Thainess also includes Thai food and the hospitality of the Thai people that always impresses travellers to the country. The good value for money that the country offers is also an important factor for tourists when they choose us. Hall 26 B ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 6 th March 2013

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