The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has kick started its promotions for the high season, as this is the period of time with nice fresh weather to explore various tourist attractions, as well as enjoy the diversity of events throughout the Kingdom.
The promotions were announced on 16 November, 2016, by H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports and Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of TAT at a press conference in which they mentioned that in the last quarter of 2016, all tourism events and functions are proceeding as usual. The Royal Thai Government has also announced the additional incentive that national museums and historical parks will be open for free admission by Thais and foreigners until 31 January, 2017.
The Minister said, “We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of global sympathy over the passing of our beloved monarch. In the months ahead, it is our duty and responsibility to ensure that His Majesty’s life work is well-recognised and respected all over the world. So we will also be highlighting the extensive national development works of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.”
TAT has prepared tourism activities and travel routes including concerts entitled “Memorial Jazz Music”, scheduled on 26 – 27 November, 2016, with free entry in two areas:
1) Wat Phra Ram in Ayutthaya: This will be on the theme of “Jazz in the World Heritage”, a form of jazz that is accompanied by an orchestra. Famous artistes performing will include Jennifer Kim, Pongsak Rattanapong (Aof), and others.
2) Laem Tan, Saen Suk district, Chon Buri, “Jazz on the Beach”: This performance will be honoured by the presence of Dr. Pathorn Srikaranonda, a musician of the Friday Amphornsathan Band, with which H.M. the King used to play. Dr Pathorn will perform the musical compositions of H.M. the King as well as recollect his personal memories of performing with the late monarch.
During both events, TAT will provide local traditional delicacies, exhibitions of Royal Projects, Royal Initiatives, Royal Agricultural Stations and OTOP products.
H.E.Mrs.Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul Minister of Tourism and Sports (middle), H.E. Mr. Pitchayaphant Charnbhumidol, Ambassador of Thailand to Brazil (6th from right), Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor (5th from left) and Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa Chairperson of the Minister’s Tourism Working Group (5th from right) as well as Miss Brasil and TAT’s executives at the press conference
TAT has reassured visitors with plans to visit Thailand that the Thailand Countdown will be going ahead. This will be conducted inside temples nationwide by lighting candles and praying for good wishes in life, which is a traditional Thai way of sending off the old year and welcoming in the new year. Also visitors can enjoy various forms of entertainment at major shopping centres in Bangkok and around the country.
TAT introduces a guidebook entitled “70 Routes in His Majesty’s Footsteps” for domestic market which has drawn considerable public attention. The electronic version has already been downloaded 50,613 times (as of 15 Nov. 2016), and another 100,000 copies are being printed for distribution in Thailand and abroad. Therefore TAT is also translating into English.
An additional guidebook linking these 70 Routes to nearby tourist attractions along with a listing of suggested local foods, souvenir shops and accommodation is also being prepared by TAT. To be produced in both a hard-copy and electronic format, there will be separate guidebooks for each of the five regions (30,000 copies of each region, for a total of 150,000 copies). It is expected to be released by January 2017.
Furthermore, TAT has organised an activity called the “First Step towards the Great Nine” by nine routes including the Royal Projects, Royal Initiatives and places where King Bhumibol Adulyadej visited people. To be accompanied by fascinating stories, this activity will promote the development of those areas into tourist attractions.
The nine routes are as follows:
Route 1: Ban Pong in Ratchaburi province – Chang Hua Man Royal Initiative Project – Huai Sai Royal Development Study Centre – Khao Tao Reservoir, Prachuap Khiri Khan province.
Route 2: Khlong Lat Pho Floodgate Royal Initiative Project -Bang Krachao Community – Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park and Botanical Garden in Samut Prakan province.
Route 3: Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Centre in Chanthaburi province.
Route 4: Huai Pak Pai Royal Project – Royal Agricultural Station Ang Khang – Ban No Lae – Museum of Ban Yang Royal Factory in Chiang Mai province.
Route 5: Mae Tho Royal Project Development Centre – Royal Agricultural Station Inthanon – Mae Wang National Park in Chiang Mai province.
Route 6: Tea Oil and Plant Oils Development Centre – Doi Tung Royal Villa – Mae Fah Luang Garden – Hall of Inspiration – Hall of Opium, Golden Triangle Park in Chiang Rai province.
Route 7: Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Centre – Botanical Gardens in the South, Narathiwat province.
Route 8: Phu Phan Royal Development Study Centre in Sakon Nakhon province.
Route 9: Rawai Beach – Wang Khi On Waterfall in Phuket – Krabi Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Centre in Krabi.
TAT will present these routes to tour operators and airlines serving Thailand to develop them into package tours.
Mrs. Kobkarn said that visitor arrivals are projected to hit the target by the end of this year.
In the 4th quarter of 2016, Thailand is targeting total tourism revenue of approximately 609.616 billion Baht, up 1.28 percent over the same period of last year (389.884 billion Baht from foreign visitors and 219.731 billion Baht from domestic travel).
In 2016, Thailand is projecting total tourism revenue of about 2.48 trillion Baht. Foreign tourist revenue is projected over 1.62 trillion Baht in tourism income, up 11.68 percent over 2015. Meanwhile domestic tourist revenue is estimated at 859 million Baht, up 6.9 percent over the last year.