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Campaigns beef up domestic travel

There are many beautiful places in this country to visit, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is trying to promote them among Thais.

Three key campaigns are under way to help domestic tourism reach its 2015 targets of 800 billion baht in revenue, up 14% from this year, and 148 million trips, up 9.5%.

The three campaigns are Dream Destinations 2, Visit Community and Friends in 10 Community-Based Destinations, and 12 Destinations ... You Can't Say No.

"We hope the three tourism campaigns encourage Thai people to see more of Thailand. You will discover many wonderful places you will fall in love with," said TAT governor Thawatchai Arunyik.

The campaigns are part of a plan by the TAT and the Tourism and Sports Ministry to improve Thai tourism after the sector was hit by local political turmoil in the first half and martial law thereafter.

With all the negativity, Thailand is set to miss its 2014 tourism revenue target of 2 trillion baht. The figure has been revised to 1.85 trillion to suit the situation.

The Dream Destinations 2 campaign presents 22 blossoming routes during the 12-month period, located in Loei, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani, Suphan Buri, Lampang, Nakhon Pathom, Khon Kaen, Phattalung, Phitsanulok, Chaiyaphum, Tak, Songkhla, Uttaradit, Ubon Ratchathani, Mae Hong Son, Chon Buri, Chumphon and Lop Buri.

About 100,000 Dream Destinations 2 guidebooks are being distributed to lure Thai travellers to these routes.

Mr Thawatchai said Dream Destinations 2 was expected to generate 26.6 billion baht in tourism from 14.8 million trips through next year.

The other two campaigns, 12 Destinations ... You Can't Say No and Visit Community and Friends in 10 Community-Based Destinations, are geared towards attracting high-end tourists and distributing tourism income to communities. Some destinations in the two campaigns are also meant to attract foreign tourists.

The 12 irresistible destinations are in secondary provinces such as Lampang, Phetchabun, Nan, Buri Ram, Loei, Samut Songkhram, Ratchaburi, Trat, Chanthaburi, Trang, Chumphon and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said the new attractions would serve as a model for accommodating future tourists.

The TAT previously had selected 10 secondary provinces, but Ms Kobkarn sought to add Nan and Nakhon Si Thammarat for their potential to draw high-end tourists from Japan and Europe.

Nakhon Si Thammarat, Lampang and Nan will be promoted in Japan. Nakhon Si Thammarat is pitched at European travellers seeking peaceful new beach destinations.

These secondary destinations will be promoted together with key tourism destinations.

Ms Kobkarn said many Japanese tour agents were satisfied with the project because 72% of Japanese tourists in Thailand are repeat visitors.

Meanwhile, Visit Community and Friends in 10 Community-Based Destinations is poised to generate income for those living in rural communities.

The project is under the TAT's Discover Thainess campaign, which aims to showcase Thai life.

Published: 24/10/2014 at 07:21 AM

Writer: Chadamas Chinmaneevong