Thailand for most Indians hasn’t just been an international destination, it has been a gateway of cheerful memories with friends and family. It has been the first international tour for many travel enthusiasts and also ‘A home away from home’ for several frequent flyers. TAT has always welcomed Indians with stretched arms and warm smiles and although this year we barely got an opportunity to exhibit our hospitality to Indians, what never failed to falter was our ever-growing connections. Even in these unprecedented times of COVID-19, as travel activities continue to remain dormant, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Mumbai has capitalized on the digital expansion through creative collaborations with leading travel communities, media and trade fraternity and most importantly, the end consumers. Securing the first rank in Global COVID-19 Recovery Index has further provided TAT the confidence to efficiently engage and entice travellers to visit Thailand shortly after international travel relaxations.
The past year has been extremely challenging for the global travel fraternity as it witnessed a complete seizure of movements for the first time in history. However, it was heart-warming to partake in unifying with other tourism boards and expressing our solidarity through a tweet chain initiated by TAT. The team was also successful in pioneering the first ever virtual luxury connect – ILVC (India Luxury Virtual Connect) that brought together the buyers and sellers in one common platform from different parts of India and Thailand. Social media was the most lucrative space to reach out to various partners, travel community and consumers in general. TAT maximised its engagements through consistent posts, stories and contests and achieved substantial increase in followers and viewers over the past months.
As we concluded our financial year in September, TAT had associated with leading portals such as Tripoto and Travel Triangle in order to promote lesser known facts and emerging destinations in Thailand. The activities included content amplification through several blogs, articles, videos and stories across social media platforms of the above-mentioned communities. Further, TAT also joined hands with EaseMyTrip for a range of promotional content, including celebrity associations with TV personalities such as Paras Chhabra, Hiten Tejwani, Prarthana Behre and Sraddha Das to name a few. Through all these social media posts and engagements, TAT reached out to its potential target markets and positioned Thailand as the safest travel destination in the near future. Not just this, TAT also partnered with Nat Geo Traveller for contest led activities that involves direct participation from the travellers. They conducted ‘India’s Favourite Thai Picks’ that assisted the TAT team in comprehending the Thai elements preferred by the Indians, to enhance future experiences offered to tourists. On the occasion of World Tourism Day, TAT also invited globally renowned travel influencer, Nas Daily to be live on Nat Geo Traveller’s Instagram account and share his personal travel memories in Thailand. Lastly, TAT recently participated in India’s first ever virtual wedding fair, The World of Weddings (TWOW), to discuss the roadmap of future destination weddings and honeymoons in Thailand with industry leaders, partners and couples.
On concluding the fiscal year, Cholada Siddhivarn, Director, TAT Mumbai, expressed “COVID-19 has surely crippled the seamless functionality of the dynamic travel trade industry but our spirits remain high as we navigate through the pandemic challenges. I would like to extend my warm regards and thank all our partners who have ensured the success of TAT’s initiatives and our followers for their constant support. The upcoming year will be pivotal as we hope to gradually resume travel activities with heightened safety. Until then, we shall continue to connect and create more content to keep Thailand on the wish list of future travellers.”
Meanwhile, The Royal Thai Government is ensuring the health and safety of all its citizens and visitors by practicing strict measures and social distancing protocols as domestic tourism revives. Although the cloud of uncertainty covers the outbound travel industry, TAT is directing all its plans and efforts towards strengthening connect with its Indian audience. The team is charting out aggressive marketing and communication approach to ensure that Indians choose Thailand as their first international destination for travel post COVID-19 lockdown relaxation announcements.