TAT Sets 2010 PlansThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is all geared up to fast track its plans with the appointment of its newest governor. Surahon Svetasreni takes on TAT's helm with a primary goal to rebound from the losses of the tourism sector for the past year.
"We are optimistic that this year will see a great recovery" the new TAT governor stated in an interview during his first day at the post. Svetasreni also revealed that the agency tends to pick up on the gradual increase of tourist arrivals in Thailand in the last quarter of 2009. "We are expecting up to 15 million tourists to visit Thailand this 2010" he adds, referring to up to a 10 percent anticipated growth in the tourism sector.
Svetasreni is a TAT veteran, previously heading the agency's Public Relations, Marketing Communication, as well as the Policy and Planning departments. With his experience, he intends to take on this year's challenges for Thailand tourism with some key strategies in place. Among them is improving the branding of the sector, adding "Amazing Value" to the main tag line of "Amazing Thailand" encouraging tourists to visit the Land of Smiles as the world recovers from the economic recession.
TAT has divided key markets and relevant strategies into 3 groups; with group 1 comprising of tourists from ASEAN countries, South Asia, France, United Kingdom, Holland, Iran, Kuwait, and Jordan, which is expected to see growth this year. The agency intends to promote products such as medical services, golf, and weddings to this group for this year. Meanwhile, Thailand's major markets remain in group 2, with tourists coming from Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Russia, Scandinavia, and Vietnam. For this group, TAT targets the high-end travelers with a focus on leisure tourism. As for Group 3, which is composed of tourists from Northeast Asia, the Americas, Singapore, and the UAE, the tourist arrivals are expected to recover from its significant decline in 2009.
The new governor also intends to analyze key consumer trends and habits with the establishment of a tourism analysis center. Among the more innovative strategies presented by TAT for this year would be the use of social media networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, to help promote the new tourism campaigns across the globe. "We want to encourage all travelers who have visited Thailand to share their experiences online through our related sites" Svetasreni says.
He also adds that the Tourism Authority of Thailand seeks to promote new tourist hotspots in the country, as an alternative to well-known destinations such as Chiang Mai and Phuket. "We intend to launch Khao Yai in Nakhon Ratchasima and Saraburi as must-see places for eco tourism. TAT also plans to schedule more media trips into the deep south, to places such as Pattani and Narathiwat, to help the public view these places as tourist-friendly as well" the new TAT governor reveals.