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Bangkok, 12 November, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is hosting 22 Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) from China to a "Let's Take a Break in Thailand" fam trip to enjoy first-hand a wide range of travel experiences in five tailor-made routes up and down the kingdom.

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Asia and the South Pacific (standing, centre), and the invited KOLs from China during the dinner reception in Bangkok

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Asia and the South Pacific, said: "The fam trip is to boost Chinese tourist confidence in Thailand and to stimulate future travel and bookings, especially during the year-end Countdown and the next Chinese New Year holidays."

Travelling out of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming and Chengdu in five groups between 8 and 15 November, the invited KOLs comprise bloggers, vloggers and photographers on travel, food, fashion and entertainment, who are active on China's influential digital platforms; such as, Weibo, Tik Tok, and WeChat. All 22 KOLs have about 20 million active followers combined.

The trip began on 8 November with seven KOLs from Guangzhou joining a six-day, Bangkok-Pattaya-Chanthaburi-Rayong itinerary for eco-friendly activities at the Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Centre, a walking tour through the Chanthaboon Riverside Community, exploring Khanom Plaek ("weird snacks") market of the Nong Bua community, and a Rayong orchard visit.

Also starting on 8 November, five KOLs from Chengdu travelled on a seven-day, Phuket-Bangkok trip for a Thai cooking class, sightseeing of the Phuket Old Town, zip-lining and tree top walk activity, Muay Thai show, and Mu Ko Similan excursion. The itinerary also included culinary and spa experiences and exploring new attractions in Bangkok.

On 9 November, five KOLs departed Kunming for a five-day, Phuket-Bangkok trip to explore the Phuket Old Town and Mu Ko Phi Phi in Krabi. On the same day, another six participants left Shanghai for a six-day, Phetchaburi-Bangkok itinerary, including whale watching at Laem Pakbia, learning the local Thai wisdom at a sugar palm plantation and exploring the Bangkok Art Biennale exhibitions.

The last group, comprising three KOLs, departed Beijing on 11 November for a five-day, Bangkok-Pattaya-Chanthaburi trip, highlighting top attractions including the Sanctuary of Truth, Art in Paradise, Noen Nang Phaya scenic point, Soi Dao Waterfall, Chanthaboon Riverside Community, and the Khanom Plaek market.

On 12 November, all participants are joining a full-day itinerary in Bangkok including a tuk-tuk ride through Bangkok's old town, a cruise along the Chao Phraya River and a workshop on krathong-making ahead of the nationwide Loi Krathong Festival, as well as a visit to the Lhong 1919 heritage landmark and the newly-opened ICONSIAM. The day is concluding with a dinner reception presided over by H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports.

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Bangkok, 09 November, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is basking in the limelight after it was awarded "Advertiser of the Year" at the recent ADMAN Awards and Symposium 2018, while three of its marketing activities also received multiple nominations and awards.

These included its "Pa-sa-Thai Machine" (a total of 10 awards: six silver; four bronze), "Thailand Footage Trading" (a total of five awards: two silver; three bronze) and "Palette of Thailand" (total of three awards: two silver; one bronze).

TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn said: "On behalf of all at TAT, we are delighted to be named Advertiser of the Year at the ADMAN Awards and Symposium 2018. TAT's primary function is to market brand Thailand to the world with creative, compelling marketing and advertising activities. And these prestigious awards show we are on the right track."

Key features of the three award-winning TAT advertising campaigns are as follows:

Pa-sa-Thai Machine - First unveiled to rave reviews at the World Travel Mart 2016, this karaoke style machine helps personalise "Unique Thai Local Experiences" and replicates the Thai-speaking experience for foreigners. It was also well received at other major international tourism events in Singapore, South Korea and Japan. It helps non-Thai speakers practice speaking simple Thai words for tourist attractions, lifestyle experiences, culture and most importantly food like Tom Yam Kung, Kaeng Khiao Wan, Pa Khao Ma, and Tuk-Tuk. Each word comes with a brief definition, so users learn Thai vocabulary while getting to know Thai food, culture and points of interest.

Thailand Footage Trading - This online VDO sharing platform was introduced under the TAT's 2018 marketing initiative of "Amazing Thailand Open to the New Shades". It encourages international tourists to share videos from travelling around Thailand. The shared footage will be edited into short commercials for online and social media distribution. The campaign generated over 4.4 million impressions. The best footage that depicts "Thainess" got special gifts including Durian Kan Yao, SAAP Limited Edition Thai-dyed jacket and exclusive cooking classes with Chef Bo at Bo.Lan Restaurant.

Palette of Thailand - Is a cooperation between TAT and the Oriental Princess cosmetic company to promote tourism-related products in vibrant shades of cosmetic colours. Together they launched five limited edition cosmetic sets to represent the colour of attractions in five unique destinations and times in Thailand: Sam Phan Bok, Ubon Ratchathabi; Doi Luang Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai; Emerald Pool, Krabi; Ko Chang, Trat, and Sangkhlaburi, Kanchanaburi.
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Bangkok, 08 November, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to welcome the renewal of Kunming Airlines' seasonal winter service on the Taiyuan-Kunming-Hat Yai route. The service is scheduled three times a week, from 29 October, 2018, to 30 March, 2019.

Mrs. Titiporn Maneenate, TAT Executive Director of the East Asia Region (3rd from left), joins officials and figures from Hat Yai's public and private sector in welcoming passengers of Kunming Airlines' maiden flight which landed in Hat Yai on 29 October 2018

Mrs. Titiporn Maneenate, TAT Executive Director of the East Asia Region, said: "The renewal of Kunming Airline's Taiyaun-Kunming-Hat Yai service further affirms Chinese tourists' confidence in Thailand as a preferred destination.

"Yunnan is one of Thailand's most importance source markets out of China, contributing up to 700,000 tourists to the kingdom each year. Tourists from Yunnan seek to enjoy sea-sand-sun experiences, savour delicious food, and discover a myriad of shopping opportunities; all of which Hat Yai has to offer."

Most passengers on Kunming Airlines' 150-seat maiden flight to Hat Yai are joining the extensive tour itinerary offered by Yunnan Comfort, one of Yunnan's largest tour companies. The programme covers Hat Yai, Trang and Satun in Southern Thailand.

Kunming Airlines currently operates four services to Thailand, including three flights per week on the Kunming-Hat Yai, Kunming-Bangkok and Kunming-Phuket routes, and four flights per week on the Kunming-Pattaya route.

Other Yunnan-based airlines have also been active on the China-Thailand service. New Gen Airways launched its Nanning-Krabi service with three flights per week from 18 July, 2018.

Jiu Yuan Airlines has scheduled to begin its new Guiyang-Phuket service with three flights per week from January 2019.
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Bangkok, 07 November, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched a new Hello Taste Thailand guidebook, working with experienced gastronomic tour companies to co-create food tour programmes, placing an emphasis on creating culinary experiences for tourists to share their epicurean adventures on social media.

TAT invited Local Alike, Siam Rise Travel, Black Rice and Friday Trip to develop itineraries that explore the country's rich culinary diversity along 10 new gastronomic tourism routes in support of its new Hello Taste Thailand guidebook.

According to TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, travel professionals and anyone who is interested in the project should download the e-book that is now available in English.

"The Hello Taste Thailand guidebook opens a new chapter of gastronomic tourism to a new generation of travelling foodies who place eating well on the top of their mind among the travel experiences they crave.

"New culinary routes being created can be defined as the pursuit of unique eating and drinking experiences. This could include visiting food producers and noteworthy food-related destinations, together with special tasting special sessions, or observing how Thai dishes are produced and prepared," Mr. Yuthasak, added.

The 10 new gastronomic tourism routes include:

BANGKOK'S THAI WISDOM - A trip that follows the traditions of old Siam and goes behind-the-scenes to discover what is happening in the kitchen, and how Thai people cook throughout the various seasons.

BANGKOK'S 'PATH OF FLOWERS'- A one-day tasting tour around the Thai capital, where visitors will witness how flowers are used in a number of savoury dishes, desserts, and drinks.

EXOTIC BANGKOK - Experience a creative culinary take on not-so-typical Thai dishes with plenty of new and exciting tastes to discover along the way.

LAND OF THE LIVING - AYUTTHAYA - visitors are invited to learn about modern-day Ayutthaya by sourcing local ingredients, cooking and doing plenty of eating.

THE TROPICAL WONDERS OF CHANTHABURI - Many dishes here are one of a kind and cannot be found anywhere else in the country.

TASTE THE MORE NATURAL SIDE OF CHIANG MAI - A one-day tasting tour that offers the chance to escape the city and experience a more authentic side of Chiang Mai's rich culinary traditions.

CHIANG MAI ARTISANS' ART ON THE TABLE - Artisan chefs and cooks who use only the freshest local ingredients with old-age recipes and cooking techniques.

PHUKET'S PERFECT COMBINATION - This two-day, one-night tasting tour of Phuket is hands-on where visitors prepare, cook and learn about new Thai dishes and drinks and get to eat plenty.

PHUKET'S CASTAWAY PARADISE IN THAILAND'S ANDAMAN - Visitors get whisked away in true 'castaway' style to forage for wild ingredients and learn from the wisdom of the 'Chao Le' villagers.

THE WISDOM OF SURAT THANI'S TAPI RIVER - A two-day programme cruising on the Tapi River for an authentic take on the true Surat Thani lifestyle, while learning from the wisdom and culture of the locals.

Travel professionals and anyone who is interested in eating great Thai food can download the new Hello Taste Thailand guidebook e-book here.

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London, 06 November, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced the 2018 winners of the Responsible Thailand Awards, in conjunction with Wanderlust Travel Media, during the World Travel Market (WTM) at a lunch ceremony on 5 November presided over by the Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat.

Group photo of Responsible Thailand Awards 2018 winners, from left: Akaryn Hotel Group's Mr. Chris Crampton; The Sarojin's Ms. Debbie Haw, Phuket Marriot Resort and Spa, Merlin Beach's Ms. Nantana Wongsatavanont; Elephant Nature Park's Founder, Ms. Lek Chailert; and Mahouts Elephant Foundation's Ms. Jen Mullen and Mr. David Mullen

The Responsible Thailand Awards were created to highlight, and further promote, Thailand's dedication to the conservation of its country's precious natural and cultural resources. The Awards recognise and celebrate organisations in the travel and tourism industry who have made an outstanding contribution to sustainable tourism developments, help protect the country whilst engaging and educating tourists on local environmental issues.

Since June 2018, readers of the Wanderlust magazine have been nominating the organisations they felt deserved recognition for their sustainable work across six categories:

Marine, Nature and Heritage
Animal Welfare
Community-based Tourism
Best Eco-Lodge/Hotel
Best Hotel
Green Steps
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: "We're so proud of the continued success of our awards and the wider interest in our Responsible Thailand campaign with Wanderlust, which has seen an even greater amount of inspirational content added to the website in 2018.

"This year, 67 nominations were submitted and over 6,400 consumers engaged in the Awards, sharing their thoughts on who should be a Responsible Thailand winner. It's great that consumers are so aware of responsible travel choices in Thailand, but we have a lot more work to do to educate an even greater number of visitors coming to the Kingdom."

In October 2018, a leading panel of expert judges had the unenviable task of choosing just six winners, casting their deciding vote on consumers' nominations.

The Judges:

Lyn Hughes (Editor-in-chief & Global Content Director, Wanderlust)
Derek Moore (Chairman, AITO)
Claire Jenkinson (Senior Destinations & Sustainability Manager, ABTA)
Martin Symington (Award-winning travel Journalist)
Julie Middleton (Head of Sustainable Practice, The Travel Foundation)

The criteria the judges followed included the sustainability of each organisation, their demonstrable successes and legacy benefits for both the Kingdom and visitors to it.

The winners they collectively chose are:

1. Marine, Nature and Heritage

WINNER - Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Merlin Beach

Profile: Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Merlin Beach is a family-friendly resort located on a beautiful, secluded beach. In collaboration with the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), it has created the Merlin Butterfly Sanctuary with over 30 species of butterfly. It also works with the IUCN and Sea Bees Diving to conserve the restoration of the unique reef ecosystem in front of the hotel and is involved in the Mangroves for the Future Project. The hotel employs fulltime conservation experts and educates its guests in awareness of environmental issues and how they can help.

Judges' comments: It's refreshing to see a hotel think beyond the care of guests, but also proactively work on the conservation of the local environment. The partnership with the IUCN is taken seriously, and the hotel clearly takes pride in the innovative work it is doing.

2. Animal Welfare

WINNER - Elephant Nature Park

Profile: Elephant Nature Park rescues and rehabilitates victims of the tourism and trekking industry and educates tourists on their plight. As well as its own centre, it is working in collaboration with communities and other projects to promote ethical elephant experiences.

Judges' comments: It's heartening to see the journey that this organisation has taken. It has championed the welfare of elephants and campaigned for better lives for them. It is doing a fantastic job of educating both locals and visitors that there is a better way to treat these magnificent creatures.

3. Community-based Tourism

WINNER - Mahouts Elephant Foundation

Runner-Up - The Sarojin

Profile: Mahouts Elephant Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving and protecting the lives of Asian elephants. It works on the ground to develop sustainable, welfare focused tourist experiences supporting the needs and livelihoods of the indigenous mahouts, their families and local communities, together with the needs of the elephants.

Judges' comments: It's encouraging to see an organisation combining elephant welfare and habitat conservation with benefits to communities, too. Furthermore, it is offering visitors to Thailand a unique and exceptional experience. A model solution which deserves to grow and flourish.

4. Best Eco-Lodge/Eco-Hotel

WINNER - Elephant Hills

Profile: Elephant Hills are Thailand's first luxury tented camps. They offer nature safaris in and around Khao Sok National Park. Activities include ethical elephant experiences, kayaking, walking and boat trips.

Judges' comments: Elephant Hills are fully committed to sustainability and is a model for how a luxury travel experience can also educate and conserve.

5. Best Hotel

WINNER - The Sarojin

Runner-Up - Marriott Thailand Business Council

Profile: The Sarojin is a luxury boutique resort in Khao Lak with community engagement at its heart.

Judges' comments: The Sarojin not only offers a great guest experience, but clearly spreads the revenue from those guests locally, benefiting people, animals and the environment. Their innovative excursion programme is robust and demonstrates how well they work with the local community.

6. Green Steps

WINNER - Akaryn Hotel Group

Runner-Up - BEES

Profile: A small group of boutique hotels and resorts. They have removed single-use plastic from the hotels, claiming to be the first in Asia to do this.

Judges' comments: A sterling example of what a hotel group can do to help conserve Thailand, with its ambitious initiative to remove single use plastics setting a great example to other hotels, while raising awareness among visitors.

The winners were presented their awards by Thailand's Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat on Monday, 5 November, at the WTM 2018.

For more information, please visit:
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