Really Really Cool CEO Patee Sarasin now has a new title to add to his growing list of accolades, having recently been named ‘Yamagata Special Ambassador of Tourism and Tsuyahime’ by Meiko Yoshimura, Governor of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.
The governor recognized his role as a travel pioneer who has brought more Thai tourists to visit Yamagata than ever before. Really Really Cool (RRC) firmly put the prefecture on the map as a popular new destination for Thai tourists, especially the ski resorts at Zao in the winter, as well as other seasons throughout the year.
In the letter of appointment Governor Yoshimura wrote: “Your role will be to spread the word of Yamagata throughout Japan and the world: of its strikingly varied seasonal vistas, relaxing hot springs, food and spiritual cultures nurtured by a rich natural environment, the charm of ‘Japan’s hometown, Yamagata’. It warms the heart and soothes the soul, and the delight of the unparalleled taste of Yamagata-born Tsuyahime rice. I ask you to do your utmost in your capacity as ambassador.”
Patee has already collaborated with travel businesses in Yamagata, advising them on the most appealing itineraries for tourists from Thailand and what types of services would enhance the prefecture’s travel offerings. Really Really Cool, in collaboration with Yamagata Prefecture, was instrumental in launching bespoke itineraries to Zao and introducing its ‘Snow Monsters’, famous ski resorts and family run Onsens to a new generation of Thai travellers.
“I am very grateful for the confidence placed in me by Governor Yoshimura, and I am delighted to accept this appointment,” Patee, said. “It is an honour to promote Zao and its many unique experiences, like the Snow Monsters. We believe that RRC will continue to deliver personalized travel experiences for all Thai travellers and snow lovers.”
Last year RRC launched a ‘Zao Snow Monster Ski Package’ with a five-day, four-night option. The package also included a unique pre-departure ski training session at Future Park’s Ski 365 facility in Bangkok for guests to get their ‘ski legs’ under them before hitting the slopes in Zao.
Key selling points of Yamagata Prefecture are the activities for visitors to do every season that are clearly differentiated. Zao is one of the most famous ski areas with Onsens in Japan and is also one of the few destinations that has snow all year round even. It is also the only place in Japan that you can ski and swim on the same day in summer.
Travel between Thailand and Japan peaked in 2018, with new destinations and attractions fuelling bilateral tourism growth. Japan received 1.1 million (+14.7% year on year) Thai tourists in 2018, while 1.5 million (+6.8%) Japanese travellers visited Thailand during 2018.