The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Expedia Group. The collaboration will include sharing traveller-centric insights and trends that will help boost TAT’s capabilities to more effectively plan promotional campaigns to attract more travellers and encourage longer stays in Thailand. Both parties are also expected to embark on joint destination marketing campaigns to spotlight Thailand’s hidden and unique tourist attractions in its secondary cities, promoting the variety of lodgings to Expedia Group’s 675+ million monthly visitors globally.
Expedia Group will also launch key programs in destination marketing and skills transfer to the local hospitality industry in secondary cities. Workshops for local hotel partners will include ways to leverage Expedia Group’s Partner Central platform to accelerate skills development and build revenue and hotel management capabilities among local SME hotels.
Other aspects of the cooperation include a joint corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign aimed at enhancing environmental consciousness among hotels in Thailand and reducing the use of single-use and general plastic items in their properties.
Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand said, “TAT has a vision to become the leader in promoting sustainable tourism in Thailand. We launched campaigns aiming to increase both domestic and international tourism early this year. TAT also launched the latest campaign ‘Amazing Thailand Go Local’ to promote the unique beauty of 55 secondary destination cities to travellers worldwide boasting each city’s unique features which we believe will meet the needs for the diverse range of tourists coming to Thailand. This collaboration with Expedia Group, through the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding, will help boost tourism to secondary cities and also align with the government’s domestic tour personal income tax break campaign in 2018, aimed to promote tourism in these areas.”
Pimpawee Nopakitgumjorn, Director of Market Management at Expedia Group said, “Expedia Group has been working closely with the primary destinations in driving year-round inbound traffic to Thailand. This MOU will forge a strategic collaboration that supports the TAT’s Action Plan to drive visitor flow to Thailand’s secondary cities, and help the country maintain its tourism leadership position in the Southeast Asia region. This MOU also supports the growth of the hospitality industry in these secondary tourist destinations by empowering hoteliers with the relevant digital expertise. Through Expedia Group’s technology platform such as the Partner Central tool, hoteliers can boost their digital skills in revenue management, gather and respond to guest feedback more efficiently and better manage online reviews. This is aligned with the country's goal to develop its tourism industry ecosystem in an aim to generate more job opportunities and narrow income gaps between urban and rural areas.”
This strategic collaboration comes at an opportune time as high-value international travelers are already a driving force for the tourism boom in many of Thailand’s secondary cities, including Chiang Rai, Koh Lipe, Mae Hong Son, Trang, and Trat.
“A large majority of accommodations in secondary cities are still primarily offline which means international travelers cannot find or book them easily. This results in missed opportunities for hoteliers, as they are not capitalizing on the growth of inbound travelers. We will be launching a series of initiatives to educate them on the value of online distribution. They will also have access to our partner-facing tool, which allows them to effectively manage their rates and availability, online content and guest satisfaction. By improving the digital skills of the hospitality sector, we will play a pivotal role in boosting the local economy,” said Ms. Pimpawee Nopakitgumjorn, Director of Market Management at Expedia Group.