CHIANG RAI, 6 December 2017: Domestic tourists remain the key to success driving tourism year-round in North Thailand, Tourism Authority of Thailand Director northern region, Somradee Chitchong, told a group of Thai travel bloggers.
Supervising tourism promotions in 17 northern provinces, Somradee hosted 105 Thai bloggers for a Go North promotion that closed in Chiang Rai last week.
They toured the north ending the trip, at Mae Fah Luang heritage park in Chiang Rai for a networking session with TAT directors from the 10 northern offices.
The bloggers mostly focusing on social media channels that reach out to Thai travellers covered a vast territory during the trip from the region’s gateway, Nakhon Sawan, to the far north province of Chiang Rai, a distance of 850 from the Thai capital.
“Northern tourism has been successfully promoted by TAT for 60 years even before the beaches,” Somradee told bloggers as she took them through a ‘Powerpoint’ presentation on the strengths of domestic tourism.
“But today, the focus is on repeat visitors, encouraging Thai travellers to revisit the north at a different season or for a different purpose,” she said.
Mid-week travel figured in the presentation, along with the largely untapped retiree market in Thailand.
According to the action plan the priority is to revive interest in the north through promoting new travel experiences some of them focused on food and community projects, while encouraging first-time youth travel.
“Northern destinations have varied attractions such as homestay, royal projects and venues ideal for CSR and team building, but our challenge is to promote year-round travel not just in the cool season,” the director explained.
Tourism revenue in the northern provinces should grow by 8.7% to THB134,800 million in 2018.
More hotels are opening particularly in Chiang Mai, while hotel length of stay reached 2.7 nights in 2016.