BANGKOK – Thailand is gearing up to restart domestic tourism with a bigger focus on secondary cities as part of a marketing campaign ‘We Love Thailand’, as businesses and venues began reopening with strict guidelines on Sunday.
Thailand needs Chinese tourists as we recover. When the situation becomes safe again, Chinese will return to Thailand as our country is near. Moreover, the Chinese market has the capacity to expand.
The campaign is a joint effort between the Tourism Council of Thailand, the Tourism and Sports Ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to encourage domestic tourism once the Covid-19 situation normalises, council president Chairat Trirattanajarasporn said.
Promotion efforts will be focused on new local products and attractions that benefit tourism communities. He expects that the promotion of domestic tourism will be the focus for one to two years before foreign tourists return.
The first few markets expected to return include China, South Korea and Asean destinations.
“Thailand needs Chinese tourists as we recover,” Mr Chairat added. “When the situation becomes safe again, Chinese will return to Thailand as our country is near. Moreover, the Chinese market has the capacity to expand.”
Thai hospitality group Dusit International has joined the campaign to provide support to local communities such as Ban Pha Bong in the Mae Hong Son province in northern Thailand.
Group CEO Suphajee Suthumpun said Dusit will be working with communities such as Ban Pha Bong to raise awareness of local products like peanut oil, organic rice, and traditional hand woven bags, and also promote the destination via online campaigns.
Mr Suphajee is among 10 CEOs to have signed up as a ‘We Love Local’ ambassador to help generate sustainable income for their respective communities. Each ambassador aims to raise a targeted one million baht in revenue for each community within the first year.
Thailand has begun to ease restrictions on businesses and venues since Sunday. Businesses across 10 categories have been allowed to reopen mainly limited to essential services.
Shopping malls can open businesses such as supermarkets and pharmacies, while restaurants, food and beverage outlets will open for takeaway service only.
Healthcare facilities, except for cosmetic clinics, are allowed to open. Outdoor parks and sports facilities will also be reopened with restrictions on public gatherings. Retail shops, wholesalers, markets, floating markets and flea markets can open with strict health guidelines.
Thailand has reported three new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the country’s total to 2,969 cases. This marks one consecutive week that Thailand has seen a drop in the number of new cases daily to below 10.