The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is joining hands with Google, TripAdvisor and Zizzee to promote its products next year.
The cooperation, announced yesterday, aims to increase the number of free independent travellers (FITs) by at least 10% next year.
Many travellers prefer to plan their trips and search for information via the internet. Tourism-related online reviews are trusted more than advertising or promotions as the number of FITs worldwide significantly increases.
TAT has focusing on technology and digital marketing since changing its portal from the 1.0 version to 2.0 in 2010, with many online projects launching since then.
International tourist arrivals this year are expected to be 20.7 million, of whom 3-5 million can be classified as FITs. Many key projects are aimed at increasing the number of FITs by at least 10% next year.
Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT's director for marketing information technology, said the collaboration with the biggest tourism website, TripAdvisor, would allow the agency to develop information and products.
Google and TAT will introduce Thailand's world heritage sites through Google Maps. Attractions such as Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi, Ban Chiang archaeological site in Udon Thani and Si Satchanalai Historical Park in Sukhothai can be viewed via a 360-degree panorama on Google Maps.
TAT will use the meta-search engine of Zizzee for www.tourismthailand.org, enabling tourists to find the best flights, hotels and car rentals.
This will help viewers reach about 200,000 tourism operators nationwide under the one-stop service concept.
For domestic tourism, TAT has developed a new Thailand Tourism application to serve smartphones, both iPhone and Android, with about 17 million users.
The application provides tourism information and promotions under the concept of augmented reality or AR that provides interactive maps on smartphones for checking in or sharing travel experiences, said Ms Thapanee.
TAT recently cooperated with South Korean communication app Line to provide free download stickers.
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- Writer: Chadamas Chinmaneevong