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Berlin, 6 March, 2019 - Thailand is fielding its usual strong presence at the ITB Berlin 2019, which is held from 6 to 10 March at Messe Berlin in the German capital. This year marks the 53rd staging of the world's leading annual travel trade show and the 45th time the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is participating as an exhibitor.


From left: Ms. Supranee Pongpat, TAT Executive Director of Europe, Africa and Middle East Region; Ms. Somradee Chitchong, TAT Deputy Governor for Administration; Mrs. Srisuda Wanapinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor, International Marketing - Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas: Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports; Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor; Mr. Charun Ohnmee, TAT Deputy Governor for Policy and Planning; Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications; and Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT Executive Director of Tourism Products Department at the Thai Pavilion at ITB Berlin 2019.

The Thai Pavilion at the ITB Berlin 2019 comprises 88 exhibitors. Of these, 78 are hotels and resorts and the rest are tour operators and tourism-related agencies. Eighteen of the Thai exhibitors are exhibiting for the first time at the ITB Berlin.

TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn said: "The Thai Pavilion at the ITB Berlin 2019 has been designed in line with the concept of 'Amazing Thailand: Open to the New Shades' and an over-arching theme of 'Responsible Tourism'.

"The focus is on products and services of emerging tourist destinations in Thailand that have the potential to meet the needs of European tourists."

Ten provinces that TAT believes European tourists will find well worth exploring, and which can be conveniently accessed as add-ons to major destinations are Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Sukhothai, Nan, Trat, Chanthaburi, Chumphon, Ranong, Trang and Nakhon Si Thammarat. Each offers interesting attractions, unique gastronomic delights and local ways of life for visitors to experience.

Thailand's presence at the ITB Berlin 2019 is further boosted by the participation of the Sports Authority of Thailand and Arts of the Kingdom Museum as well as two local DMCs that promote tourism packages to emerging destinations. Friday Trip promotes Krabi, Phuket and Surat Thani with 'CastAway Paradise in the Andaman', and 'The Wisdom of Surat Thani's Tapi River' and Thai LocalistA promotes community tourism trails in Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai.

Also presenting at the Thai Pavilion are three travel tech start-ups, including two which were winners of the 'TAT Start-up Entrepreneurs of the New Age' competition; namely, TakeMeTour, Thailand's largest online platform offering local tour packages from communities in both major and emerging destinations, and Golfdigg, the No. 1 online booking platform for golf packages in Thailand. Another presence is Socialgiver, an online booking platform that supports social projects across Thailand.

A new application called "TAGTHAI" has been pre-launched at the ITB Berlin 2019 ahead of its official launch set for April 2019. The app has been jointly developed by 30 private sector companies and 19 government agencies, including the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and TAT, under the "Digital Tourism Platform" project. TAGTHAI has been created to be a national tourism platform that links travel information as well as products and services of entrepreneurs throughout a value chain, so that tourists can conveniently access travel information.

TAT has prepared various activities to be held throughout the five-day travel trade show, including the 8th annual Thailand Mini Mart on 8 March, special table-top sales for 30 invited potential buyers from different European countries and 36 Thai sellers; daily cultural demonstrations at which ITB delegates can, for example, try their hand at making Lawa earrings and necklaces and Karen embroidered bags, and cultural performances on 9-10 March showcasing music and dance from the Northern Thailand and I-san (Northeast) regions and the rare manohra dance from the South. Also, on 9-10 March, the Sports Authority of Thailand will be showcasing modern and traditional forms of Muay Thai and offering basic lessons.

The Tourism Information Counter at the Thai Pavilion will offer 'Open to the New Shades' concept VDOs, e-brochures, and Touchscreen Interface technology on community tourism villages around Thailand, and booklets on destinations and activities tourists can enjoy when visiting the kingdom.

TAT is also joining the LGBT Travel Pavilion for a second consecutive year to promote Thailand to this high-spending group.

*Photo gallery: Thai Pavilion at ITB Berlin 2019











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Bangkok, 28 February 2019 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would to provide an update regarding the impact on flights between Thailand and Europe due to the Pakistani airspace closure as India-Pakistan tensions rise.


Photo from www.thaiairways.com

THAI resumes normal flight operations to Europe

Thai Airways International (THAI) has announced that normal flight operations to Europe have now resumed through airspace outside of Pakistan.

Flight Lieutenant Pratana Patanasiri, THAI Vice President, Aviation Safety, Security and Standards Department, said that to ensure the highest standard of operational safety, THAI received permission from the authority to operate its flights through the airspace of the People's Republic of China.

These include the four day-time flights on 28 February 2019 from Bangkok to Moscow, London, Frankfurt and Stockholm.

On 1 March 2019, THAI will operate 10 night-time flights from Bangkok to London, Munich, Paris, Brussels, Rome, Vienna, Stockholm, Zurich, Copenhagen and Oslo. Passengers are required to check-in on the night of 28 February 2019

In addition, THAI will operate flights between Bangkok and Muscat but will not make a stopover in Karachi. The airline also cancelled flights between Bangkok and Lahore on 28 February 2019.

THAI is advising all its passengers travelling on the above-mentioned flights to check its official announcements and keep abreast of all related news. For information on flight schedules, passengers may check at thaiairways.com or the THAI Contact Centre at Tel: +66 (0) 35 61111.

Suvarnabhumi Airport is ready to facilitate passengers

Suvarnabhumi Airport has announced that it is ready to facilitate passengers affected by the closing declaration of airspace in Pakistan, which may affect flights travelling to Europe and Pakistan.

Passengers are advised to check the flight schedule before arriving at the Airport, and ask for flight information from the airline that they are travelling on about the flight status in order not to be left behind at the Airport, or waste time traveling to Suvarnabhumi Airport. For more information, passengers may contact the AOT Contact Centre on 1722.

TAT would like to advise tourists travelling on flights between Thailand and Europe to check official announcements from airlines or airport authorities. TAT recognises the immense importance of tourism, and tourist safety is an ongoing top priority for us. Besides the above-mentioned contact numbers, if tourists do experience any unfortunate incidents, they are encouraged to immediately contact the Tourist Police Hotline on 1155, and can be confident that the authorities will do their utmost to provide all necessary assistance.
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TAT announces Big Data partnership with Grab

[ Tourism News ] Posted by root on 2019/2/26 17:50:00 (4 reads)
Bangkok, 26 February 2019 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and GrabTaxi (Thailand) have announced a strategic collaboration to build a smart data system as part of the 'Tourism Smart Data, The Time Is Now' project.

The agreement is in line with the government's Thailand 4.0 policy of utilising technology to integrate information from both the government and the private sector to help move Thailand forward. The collaboration also includes co-creation of innovations to enhance local transportation and tourism as well as provide a better livelihood and increase sustainable income for local communities.


Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor (left), and Mr. Tarin Thaniyavarn, Country Head of GrabTaxi (Thailand)

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: "TAT realises the benefits of utilising digital technology to develop a smart data system that can better support tourism marketing and serve the needs of tourists.

"Therefore, we have initiated the project 'Tourism Smart Data, The Time is Now' and now partnered with GrabTaxi (Thailand), the leading technology company to join forces in driving Thailand's tourism industry.

"With insights from GrabTaxi (Thailand), we can develop a smart data system for tourism, which will support our strategies and marketing plans to drive Thailand's tourism industry forward effectively and embrace today's world of technology. Our main goals are to attract the current group of tourists to revisit Thailand, expand the new tourist targets, and distribute tourism income to emerging destinations to stimulate the market even further," Mr. Yuthsak said.

Mr. Tarin Thaniyavarn, Country Head of GrabTaxi (Thailand), said: "TAT and GrabTaxi (Thailand) have a mutual goal of leveraging Thailand's tourism industry and providing a better livelihood and sustainable income for local communities.

This MOU is another strategic move in the continued collaboration between TAT and GrabTaxi (Thailand), following the previous partnership in several campaigns including 'Grab Xi' at the end of 2018 as well as the 39th Thailand Tourism Festival 2019 earlier this year, which were well responded by both Thai and international tourists," he added.

Under the agreement, GrabTaxi (Thailand) will collaborate with TAT to drive the country forward following the government's Thailand 4.0 policy. Its aim is to analyse the large amount of aggregate data available and provide insights to support the country's development.

GrabTaxi (Thailand) will help TAT better understand the behavior and lifestyle of both Thai and international tourists. GrabTaxi (Thailand) will also support the project with Grab Data Scientists who will be working closely with TAT to derive these insights.

Mr. Yuthasak concluded that the partnership between TAT and GrabTaxi (Thailand) will devise a tourism development plan as well as define the best approaches for using these insights to benefit all stakeholders in the Thai tourism industry in every possible dimension.

The plan includes building a smart data system for tourism, creating innovations for transportation, and launching campaigns to promote local tourism nationwide. Each element will support the distribution of tourists and income to the local communities. This collaboration is a landmark public-private partnership to utilise data technology for sustainable development of the country and tourism.

Media contacts:
Information Technology Department
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 2803
Fax: 0 2250 5648
Email: itdep@tat.or.th

Suthatip Boonsaeng
GrabTaxi (Thailand) Co. Ltd.
Tel: +66 (0) 87 685 1695
Email: GrabPAHKThailand@hkstrategies.com
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Kunming, 24 February 2019 - The Thailand-China Friendship Caravan 2019 started on Saturday, 23 February, and will run until 1 March with the Thai delegation starting their adventure from Thailand for the first time.



The friendship caravan was normally organised from China to Thailand, but for the 2019 edition the journey started in Thailand with the circle route running through Kunming, Yunnan province, stopping in key towns and cities around Yunnan and Guizhou provinces.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn said, "The objective of this event is to strengthen Thai-Chinese relations and promote culture and tourism between the two countries. This is achieved through a specially-designed route and activities of the caravan trip. It helps build Thailand's positive tourism image and gives confidence to Chinese tourists. This time we are targeting visitors from China's secondary cities."


Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor (6th from left); Miss Nitivadee Manitkul, Consul-General, Royal Thai Consulate-General, Kunming, China; and the caravan's participants

The Thailand-China Friendship Caravan 2019 starts with the Thai delegation flying from Bangkok to Kunming to take part in a special 'quality tourism road show' event that also hosts another 30 local tourism operators and media for cultural exchanges.

The caravan itself officially starts on the second day with an opening ceremony. Throughout the journey, participants will drive through Guizhou's stunning scenery, one of China's unspoiled provinces, covering about 1,900 kilometres.



Stops on the route include: Huangguoshu Waterfall, the largest waterfall in China; the ancient towns of Xiasi, Kaili and Zhen Yuan; Xi Jiang, home to China's largest Miao village. The trip's highlight includes a stop at the Beipanjiang Bridge, recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world's highest bridge equal to a 200-floor skyscraper. The caravan concludes in Kunming with the Thai delegation flying back to Bangkok.

Cultural exchange performances from Thailand include a four-region folk dance and a fun Isan dance medley. A Chinese peacock dance, Hulusi music performance (The cucurbit flute) and the 'Grand Song of the Dong ethnic group' performance, a UNESCO-listed Intangible Cultural Heritage listing, complete China's cultural offering.
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Bangkok, 22 February 2019 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is seeking to inspire environmental, cultural and social awareness among locals and visitors alike by placing responsible tourism at the heart of "The Seasons" travel short documentary series with 12 episodes uploaded and available for viewing on the TAT Newsroom from now until October 2019.


From Left: Mr. Kitsana Kaewtumrong, TAT Executive Director of the Advertising and Public Relations Department; Mr. Pipat Apirakthanakorn, owner of ECOSHOP&Brand O and KidKid; Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications; H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports; Mr. Charun Ohnmee, TAT Deputy Governor for Policy and Planning; and Mr. Dwight Turner, Director of Courageous Kitchen, at the press launch of "The Seasons".

H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said: "Responsible tourism plays a pivotal role in conserving nature for future generations, and sustainability is everyone's responsibility. While Thai people will be encouraged to ensure the beauty of our natural and cultural heritages, visitors will be inspired to travel more responsibly and respect Thailand's nature and culture."

The Seasons is a unique documentary series that tells stories of the way of life of the Thai people, and the amazing scenery of 12 natural attractions in different seasons and regions. Four episodes have already been released: "Into the Rainforest", "The End of the Cliff", "The Highest Faith" and "Gone in the Mist". The next episode, "The Sea of Lives," is scheduled for March.

Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, said: "Each episode of The Seasons represents either one of Thailand's three seasons: rainy, cool, and summer, while focusing on responsible and sustainable tourism to educate the public, students, media, tour operators and related agencies. The objective is to enhance respect for all forms of natural and cultural resources on which tourism depends."

To demonstrate TAT's commitment to promote responsible tourism, The Seasons' launch event features a host of socially and environmentally responsible initiatives, including Pop Art Bann 36, an art school that combines groups of independent artists from various professions to help society, and Tlejourn Shoes upcycling flip-flops from ocean debris under the collaboration of the Trash Hero Pattani volunteers.

There is a performance by the Immanuel Orchestra (Children's String Orchestra) from Bangkok's impoverished Khlong Toei community. This music programme educates 100 children aged 7 to 20 years old who are taught to play classical instruments. They also perform in orchestras and choirs as, the music school improves the lives of hundreds of children in Khlong Toei.

Another highlight is a "Responsible Tourism Leads to Sustainability" talk by two guest speakers known for their roles in promoting environmental, cultural and social aspects. Mr. Pipat Apirakthanakorn, owner of Thailand's first eco design and consultancy service company ECOSHOP&Brand O and KidKid, is a celebrity, thinker and designer who is concerned about society and the environment. Meanwhile, Mr. Dwight Turner, Director of Courageous Kitchen, runs cooking classes and a street food tour project to help students and at-risk youth who are suffering from poverty, malnutrition and poor education.

The Seasons follows on the success of TAT's first documentary series, called Insight Thainess that was aired between March and October 2018. The seven-part travel documentary series received rave reviews from media, travel industry professionals, and visitors for its insightful tales of the Thai culture and way of life.
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