Higher quality tourists than big numbers is the credential of the Tourism Authority of Thailand for 2010, according to TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni and Jutthaporn Rerngronasa during the ATF. Mrs Rerngronasa was reappointed last week as Deputy Governor for International marketing but she will look now exclusively after long haul markets. A second Deputy Governor, Sangsern Ngaorungsi will look after regional markets in Asia as well as in the Pacific. Commenting on the share of tasks, TAT Governor M. Svetasreni explained that marketing initiatives would then gain in efficiency as both Deputy Governors will be able to concentrate on a smaller area. Budget will meanwhile remain the same but might be affected to one area or another according to priorities.
TAT is now embarking on a new campaign to have visitors staying longer in the country or at least spending more during their stay. “We have to be more cautious about our future development as we face now the challenge to control better our growth. There is no shortage of people who wants to travel. We however have to find new paths to attract high quality tourism which will also benefit to local people,” explains Svetasreni.
TAT will repeat its successful campaign “Amazing Thailand, Amazing Value” which mostly targets travelers from the region by promoting shopping and good bargains. Niche markets are high on TAT agenda with medical tourism being promoted to Middle-East countries while Environment-friendly products will be introduced to European markets. TAT is also keen to introduce new destinations to repeating travelers as well as younger affluent tourists who are keener to venture outside well-established tourism circuits.
Meanwhile, TAT new Governor Suraphon Svetasreni looks to boost TAT presence in social media and on the web with again younger tourists from developed countries being the main target. TAT expects the number of international tourists to grow at around 7 to 10% to approximately 15.0 to 15.5 million in 2010. In 2009, the Governor announced in Brunei that Thailand finally received 14.06 million foreign tourists, a better performance than previously expected as it represents only a decline of 1.2% over 2008. “During the first quarter 2009, total arrivals to the country was sinking at a rate over 20%”, he recalled.