Travel Radio provides channel for farmers

Informing listeners of tourism opportunities

Ms Thapanee (second left) and Ms Thaniwan (third left) with 'giant prawns' at the official launch of Travel Radio.

Tourism-related bodies have launched a radio channel to promote travel and farm produce, catering to businesses in the tourism industry.

Travel Radio, which first aired in February this year from 5am to midnight daily on FM104.5, informs listeners about activities in the travel industry and acts as a platform for farmers to sell produce to the hospitality supply chain, such as hotels and restaurants.

Yesterday the Thai Restaurant Association, the Association of Domestic Travel, the Thai Hotels Association, the Association of Thai Tourism Marketing and the Thai Aquaculture Business Association signed a memorandum of understanding for the launch of the radio channel.

Thaniwan Koonmongkon, president of the Thai Restaurant Association (TRA), said the parties will use the radio channel to promote tourism and as a platform for farmers to sell produce to restaurants.

Local farmers are the main suppliers of raw materials for restaurants, and she said the association is mulling buying more produce such as giant freshwater prawns via the broadcasting network.

The TRA and the Internal Trade Department have been successful in raising prices of giant freshwater prawn to 457 baht a kilogramme, from 400 baht months ago. Prices are expected to rise in the coming month on strong demand during the festive season.

Ms Thaniwan said about 1,000 TRA members took part in the "Shocking Price Weekday Travel" campaign with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), encouraging Thais to make more trips during weekdays to enjoy special discounts.

She expects members to generate 30 million baht from the stimulus scheme.

Thapanee Kiatpaiboon, the TAT's executive director for product promotion, said the response to the campaign has been impressive, with 3 million hits on the TAT's website and 60,000 registrants from Nov 1 to 14.

Of the registrants, about half have already proceeded with their transactions and some 13,000 took weekday trips.

Airline tickets are the most popular item, followed by hotels, restaurants, theme parks, spas and other recreation activities.

The tourism stimulus campaign started on Nov 1 and runs through the end of this year. Ms Thapanee said the TAT is considering the possibility of extending the campaign until next year.

She said the last two TAT campaigns this year, including Visit Thailand with 100 Baht, will generate more than 400 million baht in tourism income.

Domestic tourism during the first nine months rose by 0.5% from the same period last year with 116.3 million trips generating 790 billion baht, up 1.9%, according to data from the Tourism and Sports Ministry.