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ITB Berlin News - Day 2

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42 REGION ASIA Thailand:

42 REGION ASIA Thailand: Focusing More than Ever on Quality Tourism Bangkok, Thailand Thailand finished 2015 on a high positive note as the country approached the 30-million travellers mark, representing a growth of 20% over 2014. The double digit figure last year was in fact balancing a disastrous year 2014 due to political instability. According to Yuthasak Supasorn, the recently elected Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), 2016 will be all about strengthening niche tourism to further enhance the quality of the destination. “We want quality over quantity as we want to position the kingdom as a quality leisure destination through our ‘Thainess’ theme. We expect a more moderate growth of 8% in total arrivals this year”, explained Yuthasak Supasorn. Revenues from international tourist arrivals are expected to reach US billion up from US billion last year. The domestic market is due to add another US.5 billion in revenues. Among niche markets to be promoted this year are luxury travel, female travellers and community-based tourism. Thailand is now moving to promote less known destinations to spread the benefits of tourism to more communities and promote sustainability. In 2015, a campaign named “Hidden Jewels of Thailand” highlighted a first batch of 12 destinations located all across the Kingdom. Among them were Lampang and Nan in the North, Loei and Buriram in Northeastern Thailand, Trat and Chanthaburi in the East while the South was represented with Trang and Nakhon Si Thammarat among others. 2016 will see the launching of a second batch of 12 hidden jewels to be promoted. It includes this time Lamphun and Phrae in the North, Surin in the Northeast, Pathalung and Satun in the South and Nakhon Pathom near Bangkok among others. “We believe that these campaigns will highlight our true culture and let visitors understand the full concept of Thainess in our life”, highlights the TAT Governor. Top destinations for Thailand are still Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Krabi, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Samui, Hat Yai, and Phang-nga. The south is mostly popular for its beaches. Recently “TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise” identified Khao Lak (Phang Nga) and Karon (Phuket) among the fastest growing destinations in Asia. Khao Lak arrived third and Karon fifth over a total of 52 destinations. However, TAT looks now at promoting romantic and honeymoon holidays as well as spa and wellness mostly at traditional resort destinations such as Hua Hin, Krabi, Samui, Phang- Nga and Phuket. Phuket is also turning into an attractive cruise and boat destination thanks to the presence of the Kingdom’s biggest numbers of marinas with Boat Lagoon, Yacht Haven, Royal Phuket Marina and Ao Po Grand Marina. Cruise facilities are now being modernised in Phuket while a brand new international terminal opened its doors at the end of February. Hall 26B / Stand 221 ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 10 th March 2016 www.itb-berlin-news.com

ASIA REGION 43 Transforming Gangwon-do Korea Tourism Organisation says coming Winter Olympic Games will be vital in raising awareness WE WOULD LIKE TO PROPOSE SOUTH KOREA NOT JUST AS A WINTER DESTINATION, BUT ALSO AS A NEW EXPERIENCE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLERS Korea has become a major global tourist destination, with over 14 million foreign visitors in 2015, and statistics set to rise with the Winter Olympiad on the horizon in two years’ time. The Korea stand at ITB (Hall 26.a 135) will be giving trade visitors a foretaste of things to come, as Pyeongchang is set to host the 2018 Winter Olympics – an event holding great significance for the people of Pyeongchang and Korea. Chang-Soo Jung, President of the Korea Tourism Organization told ITB Berlin News that the event will be of prime importance in raising awareness of his country’s advantages as a tourism destination: “During this event, we aim to show the attraction of Korean culture and tourism to foreign athletes and journalists, especially by transforming Gangwon-do Province into the winter sports hub and tourist destination. We hope it turns out to be a momentum to attract more foreign tourists to Korea in the future. Gangwon-do is one of the peninsula’s most beautiful regions, where one of the Korea’s must-visit sites, Seoraksan National Park, is located. Pyeongchang is not only a home to world-class ski resorts but it also has a dynamic landscape that is visually stunning and open to all types of visitors and experiences. It is a natural playground for eco tours, active adventure tours, and seasonal tours.” Meanwhile, Korea forges forward with a number of new attractions, such as a massive hotel project that is set to be finished this year. The Lotte World Tower will be the highest building in Korea and the 6th tallest building in the world when completed, with 123 floors, standing at 556 meters (1,824 ft). The tower will contain a gallery, cafés, a luxury hotel, a Skywalk and an observation deck. To underpin tourism, the Korean administration has launched “Visit Korea Year 2016 – 2018”. “We intend to enhance and showcase the Korea’s strength in the tourism sector, while the mega event is being hosted in the country”, says Mr Jung. “We would like to propose South Korea not just as a winter destination, but also as a new experience for international travellers.” Hall 26A / 135 Chang-Soo Jung President, Korea Tourism Organization ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 10 th March 2016

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