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Thailand firms up 2024 marketing direction as emphasis shifts to experience

The Southeast Asian nation will be portraying itself differently to the world's travellers from next year.

Thailand is seeking to upscale its tourism offering to better play to the premium traveller.

One of Australia’s favourite overseas destinations has unveiled a seismic shift in the way it will market its tourism offering.

“We will be focusing on promoting experience-based tourism to travellers rather than just the destination,” said Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Marketing Manager, Sherly Handjojo.

“It is a way to allow tourists to explore, engage with locals and create meaningful experiences.”

Handjojo’s comments reaffirm a similar missive earlier this year by TAT Governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, and comes as TAT revealed a milestone achievement in 2022, welcoming 11.15 million international visitors to the Kingdom and generating some $25.85 billion in revenue.

For 2024, TAT believes it can attract 35 million tourists, bringing in an overall revenue target of $131.7 billion.

The top five overseas markets for Thailand this year are Malaysia, China, South Korea, India and Russia.

“Australia sits on number 16 globally, but we will fix that next year,” Handjojo said.

Through the first six months of this year, more than 385,000 Australians visited Thailand, which is about 85 per cent of the 2019 level. Top destinations were Bangkok, Phuket, Ko Samui, Pattaya and Krabi.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Marketing Manager, Sherly Handjojo

“Our target is to attract 522,000 Australian visitors for this year. I have a good feeling we’ll be able to achieve this,” Handjojo added.

The tourism board will be focusing on certain segments of the Australian market going forwards, particularly Millennials or Generation Y, digital nomads, family travel and the health conscious.

Sustainability will also be a key factor in Thailand’s ambitions for its tourism industry.

“We would like to elevate and move forward to a better tourism ecosystem,” Handjojo said.

“To build this, we need to become less reliant on the number of tourists and focus more on increasing tourism spending, attracting quality tourists, developing the supply chain with our partners and distributing income fairly to the local communities.

“We need to create a balance between economic wealth, social well-being and environmental wellness.”

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Written by: Jon Underwood
Published: 21 August 2023

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