TAT and Shopee spreading e-commerce locally
Local tourism operators have teamed up with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Shopee to use e-commerce to expand group travel, especially among younger segments.
Tour packages based on the collaboration have been available at the flagship platform of Shopee since yesterday.
The partnership enables domestic travel companies to connect digitally with young travellers, said Chamnan Srisawat, president of Thai Federation of Provincial Tourist Associations (TFOPTA).
Shopee is a Singapore-based mobile app that has 30 million downloads in Thailand.
"If only 1 million of them buy tourism services via the app, it could mark a successful partnership," said Mr Chamnan.
Under the programme, the Destination Management Co will offer tourism products certified by TFOPTA via Shopee.
It is estimated that each tourist will spend an average 3,000-5,000 baht per trip.
"We are going to visit local operators in each province, starting from Chiang Mai, next month to share know-how and enhance online capabilities with the help from TAT and Shopee," he said.
Yuthasak Supasorn, the TAT governor, said smartphones and digital adoption have influenced travel behaviours and the TAT has to embrace these trends, creating a flagship e-commerce platform to benefit domestic tourism.
Property and insurance are examples of offline sectors that have already changed their businesses for the online platform, he said.
"The tourism industry has an opportunity to promote domestic tourism digitally, in line with the Thailand 4.0 policy," said Terence Pang, chief operating officer of Shopee.
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT deputy governor for digital R&D, said the tour packages will be changed seasonally, with special packages such as the celebration of TAT's 60th anniversary in 2020 with Thai Airways.
More partnerships with online platform providers are anticipated for different tourism segments, such as responsible tourism and gastronomy, said Mr Siripakorn.
For the pilot project, tour packages from 19 provinces are available. The provinces are: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Sukhothai, Chanthaburi, Trat, Buri Ram, Si Sa Ket, Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Chumphon, Krabi, Phuket, Ranong, Satun and Surat Thani.
The TAT estimates domestic travel from July to September will total 41.7 million trips, an increase of 6%, generating 280 billion baht for the economy, a 5% rise year-on-year.
The TAT expects tourism to generate 3.38 trillion baht in revenue this year, of which 1.17 trillion will be from domestic tourism.