Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Thailand's tourism authority launches online schemes to lure tourists

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is approaching Internet users through nine digital tourism marketing campaigns, launching today. (September7).

Suraphon Svetasreni, governor of TAT, said the authority had been creating new strategies to lure Internet and newmedia users to participate in TAT's interactive activities. The move is aimed at local and international travellers.

"The digital world is becoming the new marketing tool for tourism. TAT will capture tourists through this channel," Suraphon said.

He said new media could replace traditional international roadshows or events that used to be made outside country. The Internet was now helping consumers get close to attractions and product offers.

The Internet is also able to offer tourists lower prices on packages and products, so it should help operators in the country to earn more profit because of lower costs, particularly in this difficult time, he said.

Suraphon said TAT had a target of 15.5 million arrivals from overseas markets this year and hoped to bring revenue of Bt600 billion into the country's economy, a 9percent increase from 2009.

Meanwhile, it aimed for 91 million trips from the domestic market, with travellers spending Bt430 billion, or a 3percent increase from last year.

"To reach those targets, TAT will focus more on digital marketing tactics, using combinations of technology and people," Suraphon said.

The nine digital marketing campaigns scheduled for launch today cover different target groups. Three of them will help boost tourism by sharpening supplier skills, creating digital media, and adopting new technology.

The other six campaigns are based on existing schemes and have been redesigned for its official website, www.tourismthailand.org: a onestop service, usergenerated content, encouraging social networking, listening and responding to the online community, creating relationships with citizen journalists, and integrated on and offline marketing.

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