Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak (centre) witnessed the signing event with TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn (left) and Susumu Ishihara, chairman of the Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organisation.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has inked a letter of intent (LOI) with Japan’s Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organisation, hoping the collaboration will boost tourism in Thailand’s secondary provinces.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn and Susumu Ishihara, chairman of the Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organisation, signed the document in Fukuoka last week.
The two organisations are set to work on two-way travel and boost overall tourism collaboration.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak visited Japan last week, met investors and tourism authorities, and took part in the LOI singing ceremony.
The letter said the Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organisation will help promote Thai attractions and tourism events in seven Kyushu cities: Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki and Kagoshima.
The top destinations for Japanese tourists in Thailand are Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya.
In 2017, more than 1.54 million Japanese tourists visited Thailand, up 7.4% year-on-year.
Each Japanese visitor spent an average 5,354 baht per head per day, with an average length of stay of 8 days.
The Japan market contributed tourism income of more than 67.5 billion baht in 2017.
“In 2018, the TAT predicts that tourism income from the Japanese market will reach 70.2 billion baht from 1.56 million visitors,” Mr Yuthasak said.
Last week, the TAT launched a tourism campaign under the concept, “Open to the New Shades”, for the Japanese market.
Tanes Petsuwan, the TAT’s deputy governor for marketing communications, said Japan is now a mature source-market for Thailand and ready to receive new marketing messages.
“The Open to New Shades concept is about asking visitors to open their minds and hearts to deepen and widen their experiences and perceptions while visiting Thailand,” Mr Tanes said.
The campaign is intended to introduce brand-new products to visitors and reveal new aspects to well-known destinations. The TAT further aims to attract more repeat visitors as well as those coming to Thailand for the first time.
Mr Tanes said the tourism products that Japanese visitors will enjoy include gastronomy, nature, arts and crafts and Thai culture.
After launching the campaign, the TAT will step up its marketing efforts to give greater prominence to unique local experiences in Thailand, he said.
Music will be used as a marketing tool to connect with people around the world, Mr Tanes said.
This year, the TAT said it will also use tourism to promote sustainable development.