TAT announces “The LINK” project to promote local tourism in Thailand’s communities
At ITB Berlin 2017, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is presenting for the first time the ‘LINK’ project, a unique marketing concept designed to link 10 TAT offices abroad with 10 provinces and local communities, deemed to be ready to host visitors.
The project is in line with the national tourism strategy to promote a more balanced distribution of visitors and tourism revenue to secondary cities in Thailand, to create jobs in rural areas, to enhance the cultural attractions of the local communities, and to reduce overcrowding at popular destinations.
‘LINK’ is an acronym for (L) Local Experiences, (I) Innovation, (N) Networking, and (K) Keeping Character. It will be promoted through all of TAT’s marketing channels including social media, fam trips, seminars and product presentations, and partnerships with tour operators.
The ‘LINK’ project will be marketed to tour operators from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas, through offline and online media accompanied by sales seminars and product presentations.
Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “Experiencing these new attractions and unforgettable stories by immersing themselves in the local community is the way of the future. Many travellers today see travel no longer as a purely leisure and recreational exercise, but as an educational and experiential one.” He added, “The chosen destinations are spread all across Thailand. Each one was chosen based on its unique historical and cultural attractions that are worth promoting. Tourism flows will begin slowly as the tour operators package these new destinations, and then gain strength as investors see opportunities for adding accommodation and attractions.”
The ‘LINK’ Project also builds on the TAT strategy to highlight local experiences and tell unique stories that exist behind each.
Yuthasak added, “The key point of the ‘LINK’ project is ‘Keeping Character’. TAT wants to maintain the way of life of the local communities and ensure that tourism can help them create jobs and grow their income. I believe that character is the charm of the community. It will attract quality tourists who respect the wellbeing and livelihoods of the local communities.”
THAILAND EXTENDS VISA FEE WAIVER SCHEME FOR TOURISTS FROM 21 COUNTRIES
The Royal Thai Government recently approved the extension of the visa fee waiver and reduction for visas on arrival for tourists from 21 countries. The original scheme, established on 30 November last year, will now be extended until 31 August, this year. The new period, will mean that travellers applying for tourist visas at Royal Thai Embassies or Thai Consulates abroad will not have to pay any fees for entry visas, while the fees for visas on arrival (VoA) have been reduced from 2,000 Baht to 1,000 Baht per person. Countries affected: Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.