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Bangkok, 23 May 2018 - Thailand's strategy to promote gastronomy tourism will take a huge step forward with the 4th UNWTO World Gastronomy Forum to be held in Bangkok between 30 May - 1 June 2018. It is the first time this event will be held in Asia.

Organised annually by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the Basque Culinary Centre, the event is being supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports with more than 567 delegates registered to attend (as of 18 May 2018).

This fourth edition will specifically focus on harnessing the power of technology as a driver for sustainable growth. The event will include a symposium, workshops and seminars in which leading experts in gastronomy tourism will discuss current trends and challenges in the sector, exchange best practices and inspire discussion on intercultural dialogue, gastro diplomacy, and the importance of technology for sustainable gastronomy tourism.

H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Thailand's Minister of Tourism and Sports said, "This is going to be a landmark event in the annals of Thai and Asia-Pacific tourism. We will take full advantage of this gathering of leading experts in the field of gastronomy tourism to strengthen the connections between Thailand's two bedrock industries, agriculture and travel and tourism."

One unique part of the programme is on-site visits for international delegates to four Bangkok districts, each of which have their own unique culinary characteristics. These include Bang Rak, Nang Loeng, Trok Khao Mao and Phra Nakhon route. Another four route visits will help delegates enjoy the best culinary experience combined with culture and the community. These include: Talat Phlu, Talat Noi, Kudi Jeen, and Klong Bang Luang.

The first edition of the event was held in San Sebastian city of Spain, the 2nd time in Lima, Peru and 3rd in San Sebastian, Spain again. Over 250 international participants attended each event.

A press conference will be held on 30 May 2018 after the opening ceremony. It will be addressed by H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Mr. Zurab Pololikashivili, Secretary-General, UNWTO, and Mr. Joxe Mari Aizega, Director, Basque Culinary Centre.

In 2016, international visitors to Thailand spent an estimated 326 billion Baht on food and beverage consumption, representing 20 percent of the tourism revenue.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said, "TAT has made gastronomy tourism an important part of its marketing strategy under the Thailand 4.0 socio-economic development plan."

"Thai cuisine is famous all over the world. It is rare a major city in the world that does not boast a Thai restaurant, be it in the form of fine-dining or takeaway. All our culinary delights have their roots in Thai agriculture, which was our bedrock source of economic livelihood well before tourism. Now, the Royal Thai Government is more firmly linking both."

In December 2017, TAT celebrated the opening of an exciting new chapter in Thailand's dynamic culinary evolution with the launch of the first Michelin Guide Bangkok.

A total of 98 Thai, Asian and international restaurants, including for the first time 28 Thai street-food stalls, are featured in the inaugural Michelin Guide, which was launched at a gala ceremony in the Thai capital on 6 December. The selection of the Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018 features three two-star restaurants, 14 one-star restaurants and 35 Bib Gourmand restaurants.

The Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018 will be followed by similar guidebooks covering the food, service and catering sectors in other popular destinations.

In 2018, TAT also supported the publication of a bilingual Thailand guidebook Gault and Millau Belux 2018 edition.

Group photo caption:

H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Thailand's Minister of Tourism and Sports (3rd from left); Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor (3rd from right); Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications (2nd from left); Ms. Jarumon Vanichsuvan, Director of Institute for Agricultural Product Innovation, Department of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce (left); Mrs. Srisuda Wananpinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas (2nd from right); and Mr. Santi Chudintra, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Asia and South Pacific (right) joined today's press conference at the TAT headquarters in Bangkok
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Thai Tourism Minister Weerasak Kowsurat supports the hosting of TTM 2018 in Pattaya

Bangkok, 23 May, 2018 - H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Thailand's Minister of Tourism and Sports, is showing his full support to the hosting of the Thailand Travel Mart Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion (TTM+) 2018 in Pattaya.

Mr. Weerasak today chaired the official press conference to announce that this year's Thailand's biggest annual B2B tourism trade show, TTM+ 2018 will be held under the theme of "Million Shades of Romance", from 13-15 June, 2018, at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club.

Mr. Weerasak said: "To host the country's biggest B2B tourism event in Pattaya is a part of the government's plan to promote the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), with tourism being one of the area's four core sectors. The Royal Thai Government has stated this will help transform the ECC into a leading economic zone in Southeast Asia."

For related news on the TTM+, please visit: ... ews/thailand-travel-mart/

Group photo caption:

H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Thailand's Minister of Tourism and Sports (3rd from left); Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor (3rd from right); Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications (2nd from left); Ms. Jarumon Vanichsuvan, Director of Institute for Agricultural Product Innovation, Department of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce (left); Mrs. Srisuda Wananpinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas (2nd from right); and Mr. Santi Chudintra, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Asia and South Pacific (right) joined today's press conference on TTM+ 2018 at the TAT headquarters in Bangkok
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Bangkok, 22 May, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is delighted to announce that Thailand has been named as the host country for the 19th International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA Awards), which is scheduled to be held in Bangkok from 22-24 June, 2018.

This makes the second time the Thai capital plays host to the biggest celebration of Indian cinema, having hosted the 9th IIFA Awards on 8 June, 2008.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: "India is one of Thailand's important sources of visitor markets. Being named as the host country for the glitzy and glamorous IIFA Awards for the second time reiterates Thailand's positioning as the preferred destination among Indian travellers."

Wizcraft International, the producers and creators of the IIFAs, made the official announcement at a press conference held in New Delhi on 17 May, 2018. Making the appearances to confirm Bangkok as the host city for this June's star-studded weekend included Bollywood bigwigs Ranbir Kapoor, Karan Johar, Dia Mirza, Shahid Kapoor and Kartik Aaryan.

Mr. Isra Stapanaseth, Director of TAT New Delhi Office

From left: Shahid Kapoor, Kartik Aaryan, Dia Mirza, Ranbir Kapoor and Karan Johar
IIFA 2018 Thailand

Andre Timmins, Director of Wizcraft International, said: "We are pleased to be taking IIFA back to Bangkok after 10 years. IIFA has grown over this decade, and we are excited to celebrate the grandeur and excitement in 'Amazing Thailand'. Vibrant Bangkok is the perfect host to welcome and embrace the spirit of Bollywood like no other and it's a pleasure to see Thailand welcome IIFA with open arms for the second time."

Ranbir Kapoor said he won the best debutante award at IIFA 2008 in Bangkok and was eager to connect with his fans at the 2018 IIFA Weekend and Awards. Shahid Kapoor added that he was thrilled to be performing at the spectacular awards night in Bangkok while Kartik Aaryan revealed that he was excited to debut as a host at the IIFA Rocks this year.

Mr. Isra Stapanaseth, Director of the TAT New Delhi Office, said: "IIFA 2018 will prove to be beneficial for the publicity of Thailand's tourism industry, which will contribute to enhancing the positive image of the country and attract Indian tourists by showcasing a variety of tourism products Thailand has to offer. The event also corresponds with TAT's directions to promote Thailand as a preferred destination for Indian travellers."

In 2017, Thailand welcomed 1.4 million visitor arrivals from India, up 18 per cent over 2016, generating 62.40 billion Baht in tourism income. The growth momentum is expected to continue through 2018, with the first four months already recording a 17 per cent increase to 481,573 arrivals (China and India led the growth in January-April visitor arrivals to Thailand).

For 2018, the TAT offices in Mumbai and New Delhi are working with partners and tour operators to promote Amazing Thailand to specific segments including luxury travel, weddings and honeymooners, female travellers, and families as well as students and newly working women.

TAT launched the Amazing Thailand's 'Open to the New Shades' marketing concept in India in February and organised a Mega Fam Trip for leading members of India's travel trade and media to Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat in April.
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Bangkok, 21 May, 2018 : Led by a 30% increase in visitor arrivals from China and a 17% growth from India, the Thai tourism industry has recorded total international arrivals of 13.7 million in January-April 2018, up 13.9% over the same period of 2017.

Mr. Pongpanu Svetarundra, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Sports announced at a press briefing that the total visitors in January-April generated an estimated 730.7 billion Baht in tourism income, up 17.55% from the same period of 2017.

In April alone, international visitor arrivals totalled 3,092,725, up by 9.38% over the same period of 2017. The top ten source markets were China, Malaysia, Lao PDR., Russia, India, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, the United States and the United Kingdom, respectively.

Here is a summary of the key results for January - April 2018:

Overview: All regions grew well except the Middle East. Visitors from East Asia totalled 8,894,642 (+17.50%), Europe 3,006,525 (+9.75%), the Americas 599,431 (+3.55%), South Asia 607,379 (+15.18%), Oceania 296,741 (+0.26%), the Middle East 237,322 (-6.75%), and Africa 59,371 (+7.11%).

East Asia: East Asian visitor arrivals comprise the biggest market share of all visitors. A total of 8.89 million or 64.91% were from East Asian countries. China, Thailand's top source market, recorded a total of 4,161,253, up by 30.56%. The other top sources of arrivals were Malaysia (1.14 million), Korea (617,287) and Japan (552,330).

The ASEAN countries generated over 3.02 million arrivals, with spectacular growth by Cambodia (+25.10%), Lao PDR. (+13.24%), Vietnam (+6.48%), the Philippines (+5.77%), Singapore (+4.43%), Indonesia (+3.73%), and Malaysia (+1.58%). The only declines were from Brunei (-9.19%) and Myanmar (-3.07%).

Europe: European visitors showed a good growth rate of 9.75% to 3 million. Russia retained its status as the largest source market from Europe with arrivals of 745,398, up 25%. Germany was the second highest source market with a total of 386,951, up 7.73%, followed by the United Kingdom 371,054 up 0.44% and France 342,825, up 3.70%.

Strong growth was also reported from East Europe (+13.95%) and Austria (+18.70%), Denmark (+7.99%), Finland (+7.96%), Italy (+7.68%), the Netherlands (+7.03%) except Sweden declined by 2.26%.

The Americas: Arrivals from the Americas were up 3.55% to 599,431. The main market, USA, rose by 7% to 396,330. Arrivals from Canada were up 10.36% to 113,881. Declining source markets from Latin America included Brazil (20.28%) and Argentina (-25.71%).

South Asia: Arrivals from South Asia grew by a strong 15.18% to 607,379. India topped the list with arrivals up by 16.91% to 481,573. Other source markets, which generated growth in arrivals, included Bangladesh (+19.37%), Pakistan (+2.74%) and Sri Lanka (+1.27%). Only Nepal was down -0.42%.

Oceania: Arrivals from Oceania grew by 0.26% to 296,741 visitors. Australian visitors were up 0.03% to 261,496. Arrivals from New Zealand were up 1.82% to 34,133.

Middle East: Arrivals declined by 6.75% to 237,322. Declining source markets included the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. However, some source markets were up; such as, Kuwait (+7.67% to 22,089).

Africa: Arrivals from Africa grew by 7.11% to 59,371.

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Bangkok, 18 May, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently launched its own travel documentary series, titled 'Insight Thainess', to promote Thai values through the country's unique way of life. The seven-part series highlights Thai local wisdom, time-honoured arts and crafts, history and natural resources, and is meant to inspire travellers worldwide to visit Thailand and experience it first-hand.

Mr. Kitsana Kaewtumrong, TAT's Executive Director of Advertising and Publications Department, said, "The Insight Thainess travel documentary series comprises seven episodes, each three minutes long. It showcases the pureness of unique Thai local experiences and the natural affability of the Thai people in the way that hasn't been told before. We are gradually rolling out the series each month between March and September."

He added the Insight Thainess travel documentary series also corresponded with this year's communication concept of Amazing Thailand's 'Open to the New Shades', which highlights the many different ways tourists can see Thailand, whether through new perspectives on existing attractions or through experiences in altogether new attractions.

Two of the seven episodes were uploaded recently on TAT's official public relations channel, or the TAT Newsroom. The first episode, titled 'Mango with Sticky Rice', premiered in March and was filmed in Amphawa, Samut Songkhram, a small province in Central Thailand. It featured local communities that live a simple lifestyle from farming and fruit orchards, mostly coconuts, pomelos, lychees and mangos.

Insight Thainess Episode 1: Mango with Sticky Rice

Episode two, titled 'The Riviera of the Salt Field' premiered early May with a 'roadside travel' storyline. It was filmed in Ban Laem, Phetchaburi where the numerous salt fields create a snow white effect on the horizon.

Insight Thainess Episode 2: The Riviera of the Salt Field

Up next is 'The Art of Andaman' episode that features a 'natural inspiration' narrative covering the time-honoured batik handicraft of Ko Yao Noi in Phang Nga province.

It concludes with episodes four to seven filmed in Sukhothai, Chiang Rai, Surin and Mae Hong Son, respectively. These will highlight ancient handcrafted gold techniques, a local artisan wood working story, elegant handwoven silk laced with gold and the simple way of life in Northern Thai towns.
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