Tourism operators bank on TAT schemes
Cash handouts benefit local travel industry
Thanks to less-complicated processes, tourism operators hope new campaigns by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will continue to prop up domestic travel.
Phuriwat Limthavornrat, president of the Association of Domestic Travel, said 60-70% of association members joined the two campaigns -- Visit Thailand With 100 Baht and Shocking Price Weekday Travel -- planned for November and December.
He attributed the high participation to the less-complex systems luring travellers and operators to join the plans compared with the Taste-Shop-Spend scheme, another tourism stimulus strategy that gives away 1,000 baht to 10 million registrants.
Mr Phuriwat acknowledged that the cash handout scheme has benefited local tourism, with the recent three-day weekend of Oct 12-14 reporting growth of over 50% in the sector, the highest in the past nine months.
"The new campaigns will gain more attention from Thais who travel during the high season and could increase the number of tourists travelling locally by 3%," he said.
Registration is at the TAT website. For the Visit Thailand With 100 Baht scheme, registrants who have an e-banking and mobile phone number can join the campaign via the website on Nov 11, Nov 12, Dec 11 and Dec 12.
The Shocking Price Weekday Travel campaign for tourism products will begin on Nov 1 on a first come, first served basis.
In addition to travel agencies, about 1,000 restaurants are expected to participate in the Shocking Price Weekday Travel campaign.
Some of them are popular dining places, namely Je Ngor Seafood, Rom Mai Rim Na, Praram 9 Kaiyang, Gyu Gyu Tei and Brasserie 9, said Thaniwan Koonmongkon, president of the Thai Restaurant Association.
The campaign will increase traffic in the restaurant business, which is normally light with the number of diners during weekdays some 40-50% lower than during weekends, she said.
Ms Thaniwan said the two-month campaign will help create brand awareness of participating restaurants.
Supawan Tanomkieatipume, president of the Thai Hotels Association, said hotel operators outside Bangkok can gain from the campaigns because they will receive more guests travelling to the provinces during the high season.
"After receiving positive feedback from the Taste-Shop-Spend measures, we learned that our hotel members are interested in joining the new campaigns," Ms Supawan said.