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New 'Local Link' tours highlight local experiences and unseen attractions in emerging destinations

Bangkok, 26 September, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), in partnership with Thai Airways International (THAI), Thai Smile Airways and Krungthai Bank, are coming together to boost domestic travel to 55 secondary destinations.

This impressive alliance will launch new 'Local Link' tours with a dedicated e-payment gateway in the last quarter of 2018 to promote Thailand's emerging destinations.

Heads of the four partners, from left to right: Mr. Sumeth Damrongchaitham, THAI President & CEO; Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor; Mr. Payong Srivanich, Krungthai Bank President and Executive Director; and Ms. Charita Leelayuth, THAI Smile Acting President

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: "The 'Local Link' initiative represents one of the seven activities under the "Amazing Thailand Go Local" project. It aims to improve the ratio of both domestic and foreign visitors between main cities versus secondary cities. It is currently 70:30 with the new target set at 65:35, with 10 billion Baht in revenue for the grass-roots level in 2018.

"The initiative is also a reminder for Thais and local businesses to take advantage of the government's tax deduction measures. It encourages them to hold seminars and business events or take leisure travel in second-tier cities for the rest of this year."

Under the partnership, TAT will design and promote 'Local Link' tours. They are categorised in three types: A, B and C. Each category offers recommendations on local points of interest and unseen attractions.

Type A (Additional) promotes travel routes that combine major cities with the secondary ones. These include Chiang Mai and Lamphun, Chiang Mai and Lampang, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani and Nong Khai, Krabi and Trang, and Songkhla (Hat Yai), Satun and Phatthalung.

Type B (Brand New) highlights local travel experiences in emerging destinations including Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, and Ubon Ratchathani.

Type C (Combination) offers itineraries that links emerging destinations with each other including Udon Thani and Loei, Udon Thani and Bueng Kan, and Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani.

The 'Local Link' tours are built around 10 domestic aviation hubs - Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Surat Thani, Hat Yai, Narathiwat, Krabi and Phuket - served by THAI or Thai Smile, each with convenient access to emerging secondary cities.

THAI is offering 20 tour programmes, from 1 October to 31 December, 2018. The tours can be booked with THAI's Royal Orchid Holidays, and travellers can choose between a full tour option or just air travel and accommodation.

Thai Smile is offering special tour programmes on four routes, including Narathiwat, Hat Yai - Phatthalung, Surat Thani - Ranong, and Mae Hong Son. All are inclusive of air travel and accommodation. Bookings must be made during October for the travel period between 1 October and 15 December, 2018.

Krungthai Bank is expanding its "Paotung Krungthai" e-payment gateway throughout the 55 secondary destinations in support of the initiative. It also plans to launch a new mobile banking feature for easy payment and benefits the government's tax deduction measures.

TAT expects domestic travel to 55 secondary destinations to grow by five per cent to 60.33 million trips between January and September this year, generating 165 billion Baht (up nine per cent).

Currently the top five secondary cities are Buri Ram, Phatthalung, Mae Hong Son, Pattani and Ratchaburi.

TAT also expects the growth momentum for domestic travel to continue in this year's last quarter. It hopes major sports events including the 'PTT Thailand Grand Prix 2018' MotoGP in Buri Ram, L'Etape Thailand by Le Tour de France in Phang Nga, Phukethon 2018 in Phuket, and Thailand Spartan Race 2018 in Hua Hin will fuel growth.
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Bangkok, 24 September, 2018 - More than 150 participants from the private and public sectors as well as educational institutes attended a half-day seminar on 21 September for a comprehensive briefing on the latest trends and product developments set to impact the Thai tourism industry in the years ahead.

Organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand's (TAT) Tourism Marketing Development Centre in collaboration with the Thailand Research Fund, the seminar focussed on the topic "Tomorrow's Tourism: The Future is Now".

In his opening remarks, Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya (in photo, centre), TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Policy and Planning, said the seminar was intended to boost capacity building for tourism industry personnel and help them sharpen their studies and strategies in line with the times.

He said, "The objective is to make all sectors aware of the importance of the tourism directions and future trends. This will help the entire industry raise the quality of work being done at all levels to make Thailand a major destination in line with the Thailand 4.0 development strategy."

Mr. Chattan said TAT was making every effort to share useful information and knowledge to upgrade industry standards, build a strong tourism academic network, and spark creativity. He also thanked the Thailand Research Fund for supporting the seminar.

Expert speakers delivered talks on four topics:

"Overview of Thai Tourism in the Future" by Dr. Jutamas Wisansing Ph.D., Executive Director, Perfect Link Consulting Group. She discussed global trends and how the Thai tourism industry would need to adapt in line with changes in technologies and demographics.

"Big Data Big Picture" by Mr. Shivek Sachdev, Managing Director, Mindstree Co., Ltd. He focussed on how travel industry researchers and executives can process and analyse the vast amount of information that is now widely available, thanks to the Internet Revolution.

"Future of the Chinese Market" by Dr. Danaitun Pongpatcharatrontep , Ph.D, Chief of the Intelligence Centre, CAMT Digital School, Chiang Mai University. He highlighted the ways Chinese travellers are now booking travel and some of their popular products and attractions in Northern Thailand.

"ICON Siam" by Mrs. Jiraporn Srisa-an, Senior Vice President Marketing Promotions, Siam Piwat Co., Ltd. She briefed delegates on this upcoming multi-million dollar project now under construction on the Chao Phraya River, and how it will become yet another major tourism landmark for Bangkok and Thailand.

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Hong Kong travellers can now use automated immigration channels to enter Thailand
New service available at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports for 30-day tourist visa

Bangkok, 17 September, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce that the Thai government has implemented automatic channels for Hong Kong Special Administration Region (SAR) passport holders to use at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports.

Under this cooperation, Hong Kong SAR passport holders who travel by air will be allowed to use automatic channels to enter Thailand. Reciprocal rights are also granted to holders of Thai passports who enroll using the e-channel services available for travel to Hong Kong.

Automatic channels for Hong Kong SAR passport holders officially opened at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Saturday, 15 September

Automatic channels for Hong Kong SAR passport holders officially opened at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Saturday, 15 September

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said the automatic channels were an important step that will help increase inbound tourist arrivals from Hong Kong.

"Seamless immigration processing for Hong Kong SAR passport holders is an important step in the right direction. The cooperation on the mutual use of automatic immigration services between the two sides will help enhance immigration processing and facilitate a greater flow of visitors to Thailand.

"Hong Kong travellers are a very important source market for Thailand. Most are repeat visitors who keep coming back to enjoy the many unique Thai local experiences Thailand has to offer and especially for delicious Thai food."

The automatic channel is reserved for visitors who wish to enter Thailand for tourism purposes (a 30-day exemption scheme). For other types of visits, visitors need to apply for a visa through the regular immigration process at the Royal Thai Embassy in Hong Kong.

The Immigration Bureau of Thailand said that the decision to use the automatic channel was based on security and reciprocity as agreed by the Royal Thai Government and the Government of the Hong Kong SAR. It marks another significant step of close cooperation between the two sides and reflects the mutual efforts to promote closer ties since signing a visa exemption agreement in 1997.

The statistics from Thailand's Ministry of Tourism and Sports show that the kingdom continues to be the all-time favourite for Hong Kong travellers.

In 2017. Thailand welcomed 820,894 visitors from Hong Kong, up from 751,264 recorded in 2016. Meanwhile, the revenue generated totalled 33.70 billion Baht when compared to 30.40 billion Baht earned in the previous year.

In 2018, between January and July, a total of 569,239 travellers from Hong Kong visited Thailand.

Tourism revenue earned from the market during this year's first seven-month period amounted to 23.84 billion Baht.
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Bangkok, 03 September, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) continues to follow the royal wisdom of the late King Bhumibol and bring His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn's idea to disseminate and further implement royal projects with the development of major tourism routes in five regions.

Following the royal wisdom on sustainable development will encourage local people to use local experience to generate more income an develop their communities, thus this will build tourism sustainability in long term.

TAT also invites Thai people to join its online activity to vote for favourable tourism routes. Winners will receive the prize to join tourism routes, which follow the royal wisdom.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said the project on tourism route development to follow the royal wisdom is being organised in remembrance of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol and to continue his wisdom through community tourism development under the "Local Experience" concept. Travel with learning is impressive and supports income distribution to local communities, which will then sustainably develop the Thai tourism industry. The "tourism route development to follow the royal wisdom" project will present attractive tourism routes, which are linked with royal projects initiated by the late King Bhumibol to solve environmental problems from water resources, soil, to forest. This tourism project will also disseminate and follow his royal wisdom on Sufficiency Economy.

Currently, there are more than 4,700 royal projects nationwide, where Thai people can learn from the late King Bhumibol's life works and apply with their daily lives and create new careers for community people. Several tourism destinations are very beautiful and attractive, showing the charming Thai culture and the opportunity of Thai tourism to welcome tourists from around the world.

Under this tourism project, five pilot tourism routes in five regions are designed to follow the royal wisdom and link with royal projects in each province. Backed by the story related to the royal projects, the five tourism destinations and tourism routes will be more interesting and there are many types of tourism destinations from OTOP villages, arts and craft centres, to trade centres.

TAT will invite ambassadors and diplomats from many countries to join a trip to learn local experiences and community tourism. They will be impressed with local culture in the five mentioned tourism routes and truly understand the link of tourism development and royal projects. The five pilot tourism routes are as following;

The "follow the royal wisdom in Chiang Mai" route comprises the Vichaya farm and Ban Rai Gong Khing Community in Chiang Mai.

The "follow the royal wisdom in Buri Ram" route comprises the improvement of Ton Lam Pa Tia Reservoir and Ban Khok Muang Community in Buri Ram.

The "follow the royal wisdom in Ratchaburi-Nakhon Pathom" route includes the 1-rai project to solve poverty under the Sufficiency Economy concept in the military learning center in Ratchburi and Ban Sala Din Community in Nakhon Pathom.

The "follow the royal wisdom in Rayong" route comprises the Pluak Daeng Development and Service Center under the royal initiative and Pak Nam Pra Sae Community in Rayong.

The "follow the royal wisdom in Nakhon Si Thammarat" route includes the Pak Panang River Basin Development project and Ban Laem Home Stay Community in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Meanwhile, TAT has launched various marketing activities to promote the "tourism route development to follow the royal wisdom" project via online channel under the "Travel to Follow the Royal Wisdom" activity. It opened for general people to vote for their favourite tourism routes from five short videos via during 6-31 August, 2018. Winners will be announced on 7 September, 2018, and they will receive the tour packages to follow the royal wisdom.

Mr. Yuthasak said: "The tourism route development to follow the royal wisdom project is one among the policy to promote tourism along with community development, natural protection and culture conservation. They will be new alternatives for tourist destinations and tourists will be encouraged to respect and understand community people. TAT will expand this tourism project to cover more routes and communities in the future."

TAT is confident that the "tourism route development to follow the royal wisdom" project will attract more tourists to visit local communities, promote new tourism routes and promote income distribution to communities. It expects tourism incomes in these new tourism routes will grow at least 20%.
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Thailand weather situation update 20 August 2018

[ Tourism News ] Posted by admin_tat on 2018/8/20 10:20:00 (517 reads)
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide an additional update regarding the weather situation in the country, following our latest announcement released on 16 August, 2018, that encourages travellers to check weather updatesduring the current monsoon season.

According to an official alert released by Thailand's Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), the weather updates that predict heavy rainfall in most parts of the country during 17-20 August, 2018, may cause flooding, flash floods, or landslides in many areas. Therefore, the DDPM has placed several provinces on flooding and landslide surveillance including 17 provinces in the North, 20 in the Northeast, 11 in the Central Region and nine in the South. It has also issued a warning of strong winds and high waves in four provinces in the East and nine in the South.

In terms of tourism, Thailand's popular tourist destinations where travellers normally go are not flooded at this time. However, travellers are encouraged to remain extra vigilant by following all safety rules and guidelines and keep up-to-date with daily Thailand weather forecasts by the Thai Meteorological Department.

In terms of transportation, the main roads from Bangkok to destinations nationwide are clear, and traffic is running normally although there are problems on the conditions of some local roads, so drivers should take caution. For air travel, all airports in Thailand are operating normally with airlines operating all flights to and from these airports as scheduled. Rail travel also sees train services running normally. Likewise, ferry services are operating as usual, but the frequency may be reduced depending on the weather conditions.

TAT is offering information and assistance to tourists through its TAT Contact Centre 1672 and all local offices in Thailand.
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