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Thai tourism to strengthen links with agriculture sector

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The Thai tourism industry is to forge stronger links with the kingdom’s agriculture economy by promoting the culinary delights of the globally-renowned Thai cuisine, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn has said.

Addressing more than 500 tourism industry executives at the summary session of the TAT Action Plan (TATAP) 2018, the Governor said this linkage would go long way towards creating jobs and prosperity in both of Thailand’s leading economic sectors.

The Governor said, “This is a proactive approach under which TAT wants to use Thai food as its main product. Encouraging both Thai and foreign tourists to enjoy Thai food, especially home-grown products, not only increases the average expenditure per visitor, but also generates downstream benefits for suppliers of culinary ingredients and equipment. Ultimately, our farmer brothers will be the primary beneficiaries of the government’s objectives.”

He said the strategy also fits in with the marketing slogan of promoting a Unique Thai Local Experience under the Thailand 4.0 concept.

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Mr. Yuthasak added, “The importance of Thai food is not only limited to being a product that contributes to economic growth, nor is it just because Thai food is a well-known global product because of its excellent taste. In fact, the wonders of Thai food can be traced back to the very livelihoods of the Thai people and wisdom of our ancestors. Thai food also tells great stories of the country’s history, culture and heritage.

“TAT is ready to make everyone see the value of Thai food. For the Thai people, Thai food is more than just a means of filling the stomach, but a source of national pride.”

He said the culinary delights of each province would also be highlighted under the Amazing G-Link programme, an extension of The Link project, which is designed to promote secondary provinces and decongest the well-established, popular destinations.

The Governor said that research showed that visitors are keen to save on airfares and accommodation but are happy to spend on food and beverage.

Agriculture has long been a bedrock economic sector for Thailand, one of the world’s leading rice exporters. Today, tourism is seen as a more promising ‘sunrise’ industry, and an important source of jobs and income distribution.

The TATAP 2018 is a comprehensive strategy designed to maintain a strong flow of visitors in a highly competitive environment. Its overarching slogan is to ensure that Thailand remains a Preferred Destination and a delivers a Quality Product, thus boosting the average length of stay, expenditure and repeat visitation.

The Governor also announced that in 2018, TAT will open offices in Toronto, Canada and Sao Paulo, Brazil, as well as join the Sao Paulo Fashion Week to present Thai designers at the global level.

He also noted that 2018 would get off to a good start with Thailand hosting the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in January in Chiang Mai. This will help reinforce Thailand’s image as a hub of intra-ASEAN Connectivity and promote more intra-ASEAN travel.

Overall, the marketing strategy is designed to ensure that the Thai brand image remains strong in a highly competitive environment. It will also become more niche-market oriented with highly focused campaigns targeted at specific demographic and customer segments in specific markets at specific periods.

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