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Tourism Boards & CVB

Hug Thais Tourist Offers to Launch in Phuket as Island Reopens

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Hug Thais Tourist Offers to Launch in Phuket as Island Reopens - THAILANDPhuket, Thailand, June 27, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) to launch the ‘Hug Thais’ project to stimulate Thai and foreign tourists’ spending to revive economy.

Discover gastronomy destination Phuket and the Asia’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants at Top25Restaurants.com

H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said, “The ‘Hug Thais’ project is the latest public-private sector initiative of TAT, the Thai government, and partners like the TCC to reinvigorate Thailand’s tourism industry and the wider national economy. Such cooperation is vital as Thailand progresses towards once again enjoying its status as a preferred tourist destination.”

The ‘Hug Thais’ project will be launched with the pilot ‘Hug Thais Hug Thais’ programme in July 2021, to coincide with the much-awaited reopening of Phuket to tourism under the ‘Sandbox’ model, which begins 1 July. This will see the island welcoming vaccinated foreign tourists without quarantine requirements and is to be followed by the subsequent reopening of other destinations in the coming months.

Among the ‘Hug Thais Hug Thais’ initiatives on offer to Thai and foreign tourists will be discounts of up to 10% when they spend 1,000 Baht or more in the retail sector, and 100 Baht cash coupons for use on their next visits at participating shops and outlets.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “The ‘Hug Thais Hug Thais’ project is aimed at revitalising Phuket’s tourism and service industry and in doing so, leading the way for the similar revitalisation of other destinations around Thailand.”

As the ‘Hug Thais’ project will also be introduced in other Thai destinations, TAT will provide marketing and publicity support to stimulate travel and tourism expenditure of both Thai and foreign tourists on ‘Eat More’ local food, ‘Travel More’ within Thailand, and ‘Shop More’ for products of Thailand at shops and outlets with the ‘Hug Thais’ logo.

Discover gastronomy destination Phuket and the Asia’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants at Top25Restaurants.com

The ‘Hug Thais’ project is expected to help generate an estimated of over 100 billion Baht to the Thai economy within the next six months.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Open Letter to Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn

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Open Letter to Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn

Bangkok, Thailand, June 18, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / From Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire – Dear Governor Yuthasak, with the vaccination process full steam ahead, a few hiccups notwithstanding, Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha’s speech on 16 June has paved the way for a rebound and recovery, led by Travel & Tourism. You now have a golden opportunity to build on the speech and cement your place in history, as well as that of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thailand at large.

When the crisis surfaced, there was a lot of gung-ho optimism that Travel & Tourism would convert it into an opportunity to REcover, REset, REstructure, REthink, REvise, REthink, REview, RE-this, RE-that. These fancy catchwords are nothing new; I REcall hearing them after each previous crisis. In REality, they delivered little or nothing on the ground.

But this crisis is different from all others in its depth, duration and severity, which is precisely why it must not lead to a REturn to the old abnormal.

For a comprehensive travel guide on Thailand, Visit Thailand – Be Happy, at VisitThailand.net

As the country’s primary tourism marketing agency, the TAT will be at the forefront of the REcovery process. No doubt, marketing, branding and image-building experts are knocking at your door seeking taxpayer money for grandiose REopening projects. Provincial destinations, airlines and tour operators are also in the queue. Because money talks, and is in equally short supply as the vaccines, it is imperative to ensure that every baht is spent in an accountable, transparent, productive and efficient manner, and produces the desired results in line with the new REalities.

I would like to REspectfully propose a few ways by which the TAT can REvamp the utilisation of its budgets and set a clear example for global national tourism organisations to follow:

Adjust the focus: What is the real objective of a tourism REcovery? Will simply measuring visitor numbers and expenditure suffice as indicators of “success”? In fact, the over-arching need of the hour is to totally REstructure and REthink these indicators. Immediate short-term results of REcovery campaigns can easily be statistically measured by the transportation sector, hotels and tour operators. The TAT now needs to raise the game and strive for more exalted targets.

Support worthy causes: Making Travel & Tourism a conduit for a more peaceful, safe and sustainable world means striving for causes such as the UN SDGs at the global level, the ASEAN Integration agenda at the regional level and the NESDC and Sufficiency-Economy targets at the local level. Many non-profit foundations, NGOs and institutions are supporting these efforts. They have huge followings, but cannot afford to hire slick salespeople to market their activities and projects. Because their work is patronised by thousands of dedicated and committed people, national tourism organisations should be reaching out to them rather than the other way around. Corporate social responsibility activities which make the world a better place, in the words of former UNWTO Secretary General Dr Taleb Rifai, is a sure-fire way of uplifting the quality of life at a destination, crafting a new reality-based image AND boosting visitor numbers.

Diversify the venues of TAT events: Most of the TAT’s press conferences and public events are are held either in-house or in hotels. These venues can easily be aligned with the broader causes, such as the Siam Society, Thai universities, the UN ESCAP conference centre, museums, the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand and other such places. They will certainly appreciate the outreach and benefit from the exposure and indigenous funding. Partnering with them could also give the TAT more positive exposure and upgrade the quality of discussion on serious tourism-related issues, which is long overdue.

Elevate the intellectual value of Travel & Tourism forums: One bitter lesson learnt from this and previous crises is that global tourism is totally at the mercy of external shocks. It is thus imperative to start exploring ways by which Travel & Tourism can influence global events, rather than be influenced by them. Stuffing the pockets of branding gurus, technobabblers, bloggers and “influencers” in pursuit of “likes” and “clicks” is a waste of time and money. Industry conferences and forums have become brain-dead platforms for preaching to the converted. The industry is bored of listening to the usual gaggle of trumpet-blowing executives from Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook, etc. Why not organise a totally overhauled industry event to discuss broader issues such as foreign policy, the next five-year NESDC plan, cryptocurrencies, climate change, the future of democracy, privacy, security, fake news and fraud?

Help the private sector to help itself: The Covid-19 crisis has decimated the private sector. But REbuilding must not mean more one-way handouts. In the boom days, dozens of Travel & Tourism industry associations emerged to REpresent their varied constituents. Most of their websites are in a mess. The TAT runs one of the Thai government’s best websites. This experience can be shared with the private sector associations. Helping the private sector to help itself is a far more cost-effective way of producing results.

Finally, be transparent: The TAT’s first female governor, Mrs Juthamas Siriwan, brought shame and dishonour upon the state enterprise with her arrest and conviction on corruption charges. Making all procurement contracts and marketing activities more open and transparent will go a long way towards ensuring that external contractors deliver the goods, and are held accountable for pork-barrel waste and inefficiencies. Other NTOs worldwide will be forced to follow suit, setting new standards for industry best-practises.

Governor Yuthasak, you were the first “outsider” to helm the TAT. I was in the TAT lobby the day you first arrived for work in August 2015, the year after a comparatively minor internal political crisis, the 2014 military coup. Since then, thanks to a flood of mass-volume Chinese and Indian tourists, visitor arrivals soared to the point where “overtourism” became a double-edged sword. That is one headache you need not worry about for years.

Having gone from feast to famine virtually overnight, global tourism has a chance to start afresh. Leaders such as yourself have a chance to make history. Old ways of doing business are fading rapidly. The industry’s modus operandi is in dire need of a “REset, REthink, REstructure” agenda system-wide. Without it, even the survival of the TAT in its present form cannot be guaranteed.

For a comprehensive travel guide on Thailand, Visit Thailand – Be Happy, at VisitThailand.net

As one of Thailand’s longest-serving travel trade journalists, I am proud to be the first to have called the kingdom The Greatest Story in Global Tourism HiSTORY. In 1987, a marketing extravaganza par excellence known as Visit Thailand Year, united the country and REvolutionised global tourism. A new sense of direction will fit perfectly within the Prime Minister’s six-month time frame for getting the industry, and the country, back on its feet. This time, however, we need to ensure that ground under those feet is also firm and stable.

Respectfully yours,

Imtiaz Muqbil
Executive Editor
Travel Impact Newswire

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

SHA Plus Certificate Awarded to 300 Tourism Businesses in Phuket

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SHA Plus Certificate Awarded to 300 Tourism Businesses in Phuket

Phuket, Thailand, June 14, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently presented the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Plus Certificate to more than 300 tourism businesses in Phuket, as the island is preparing to welcome back fully vaccinated visitors under the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ model from 1 July, 2021.

The presentation of the SHA Plus logo by Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaiboon, TAT Deputy Governor of Tourism Products and Business, was held on 12 June, 2021, in the presence of Phuket Governor Mr. Narong Woonchiew and other local dignitaries.

Ms. Thapanee said “The ‘SHA Plus’ standard symbolises Phuket’s readiness to reopen the island, which local stakeholders have worked together to create as part of the pilot scheme.”

The ‘SHA’ logo certifies that venues and businesses have public health measures in place for COVID-19, while the ‘Plus’ sign confirms that more than 70% of employees in the organisation are fully vaccinated under the ‘Phuket Must Win’ vaccination programme.

Under the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ model, foreign visitors who arrive from 1 July, 2021, onwards will be required to book hotels, which are ‘SHA Plus’ certified for their first 14 days before being able to leave the province to other destinations in Thailand.

Currently, there are 1,389 venues and businesses across Phuket that have received the Amazing Thailand SHA certificate, and of these, more than 300 are SHA Plus-certified. The number is continuing to rise as all SHA-certified businesses in Phuket, where at least 70% of staff are inoculated, are encouraged to register for the ‘SHA Plus’ Certificate.

Meanwhile, TAT together with the Phuket Tourist Association, Thai Hotels Association – Southern Chapter, and the Southern Digital Economy Promotion Agency – Northern Southern Region are currently developing a ‘SHA Plus Booking Authentication System’ (SHABA) to be used as a confirmation mechanism for visitors joining the ‘Phuket Sandbox’, who have booked ‘SHA Plus’ hotels.

Under the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ conditions, visitors will be able to book their accommodation via OTA’s, travel agencies or directly to the ‘SHA Plus’ hotels under the conditions of the ‘Phuket Sandbox’. Hotel Reservation teams will be required to enter their guests’ bookings into the ‘SHABA’ platform, which will generate an official confirmation number and QR code.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Top 25 Restaurants Phuket Will be Launched in Time for Phuket’s Re-Opening

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Bangkok, Thailand, June 7, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Following the announcements by the Thai Prime Minister and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to reopen Phuket and to allow vaccinated foreign tourists to visit the island without quarantine from 1st July 2021, Travelindex has announced the launch of its first “Top 25 Restaurants Phuket,” in time for the island’s reopening.

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Month-Long Countdown for Phuket Re-Opening Starts Now

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Phuket, Thailand, June 2, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to confirm that Phuket will be the first destination in Thailand to reopen to vaccinated foreign tourists without quarantine requirements from 1 July, 2021. Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “All of us at the Tourism Authority of Thailand share the excitement and anticipation of everyone in…

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Phuket to Relax COVID-19 Restrictions from Today

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Phuket, Thailand, June 1, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide the following updates on Phuket’s announcement to relax the COVID-19 restrictions and entry measures from 1 June, 2021. Phuket Governor, Mr. Narong Woonciew, signed two orders on Friday, 28 May, 2021, including Order Number 2920/2564 on the measures for entry and COVID-19 screening…

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Phuket Confirms Re-Opening on July 1 for Vaccinated International Visitors

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Phuket, Thailand, May 29, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Phuket’s travel and tourism industry is rallying ahead of the island’s re-opening on July 1 to international visitors who have been vaccinated in line with the Phuket Sandbox model. The countdown has started and less than six weeks remain before the first international visitors arrive in Phuket, 15 months after the country was closed.

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Vienna Announces €4 Million Meeting Fund to Support MICE Organisers

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Vienna, Austria, May 6, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The City of Vienna is providing the Vienna Tourist Board and its Vienna Convention Bureau with an additional €4 million to support national and international organisers of meetings held in the city, from 1 May 2021 to 31 December 2023, paving the way for the sector’s growth offering up to €60,000 of funding per event. Significantly, for the first time…

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

JNTO Launches new Insider Guide to Japan

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Tokyo, Japan, May 5, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has launched a new Insider Guide to Japan, celebrating the country’s many traditions, innovations, natural wonders, and off-the-beaten-track adventures. JNTO’s “Experiences in Japan,” is a website that showcases activities based on Seven Passions (nature, outdoors, tradition, cuisine, relaxation, art and cities).

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Macao Welcomed 100,000 Visitors during Easter and Ching Ming Festival Holidays

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Macao, Macao SAR, April 14, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The three-day (3 – 5 April) Ching Ming Festival Holidays of the Mainland fell between the Easter Holidays (2 – 6 April) this year. During the five-day holidays, Macao welcomed nearly 100,000 (99,568) visitor arrivals, with an average daily volume of almost 20,000 visitors (19,914). The average hotel occupancy rate was 53.1%.

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News