More than a month after promising to let expats in on domestic-travel deals offered to Thais for months, the Tourism Authority of Thailand will unveil its “Expat Travel Deal 2020” program Sept. 11.
The event, scheduled for Sept. 11-13 at the Quartier Gallery at the EmQuartier shopping mall in Bangkok, will see the announcement of a 500-baht handout to expats to use on domestic travel.
It also will showcase travel products and services from across the country, demonstrations of local arts and crafts-making skills and tourism-related talk sessions.
The 500-baht stipend is sure to spark grousing from expats as totals only a fraction of the sums given to Thais since July 1 to encourage domestic tourism.
The “We Travel Together” campaign running through Oct. 15 offer discounts of 40 percent discounts on hotel rooms for up to 10 nights, 40 percent refunds on airline tickets (up to 2,000 baht) and 600-baht stipends for tourist attractions and restaurants.
Despite the generous benefits, the program has flopped, something even government officials acknowledged when the moved last month to expand eligibility, but not to foreigners.
Instead, TAT has come up with a different, smaller program for foreigners.
“Thailand has a large expatriate population, many of whom have strong links with the kingdom and who express great love for Thailand and its people,” said TAT Gov. Yuthasak Supasorn. “TAT and our strategic partners would like to encourage expats to travel further afield and to discover some of the “amazing Thailand” experiences that can be enjoyed in every corner of the country.
As of June, there are a total of 2.5 million foreigners with permission to work in Thailand, according to the Department of Employment, Ministry of Labor. The total includes 155,193 skilled employees (investors, experts, skilled craftsman, and BOI) and 25,110 foreign students.
The Expat Travel Deal 2020 will showcase travel products and services from all five regions – North, Central, South, East and Northeast – and show off craft skills such as ceramic bead bracelets and Thai reed mats.
The seminars will cover topics such as “Traveling in Thailand During the Covid Era” by Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and South Pacific) and “The New Era of Elephant Care Tourism” by Theerapat Trungprakan from Thai Elephant Alliance Association.
Travel agencies from each region will be on hand with customized travel packages at discounted rates. Expat attendees will be asked to present their passports to be eligible for special deals at the event.
Some of the participating businesses at the Expat Travel Deal 2020 will include Michelin-starred restaurants, including Ledu and Blue Elephant; Divana, and the Oasis and Let’s Relax spas; Bangkok Airways, Thai Smile, and AirAsia plus various Thai travel associations, golf courses and the Alipay online platform.
TAT will also be rolling out a number of other promotional activities, including joint promotions with Alipay, Thailand-based travel companies, and airlines.
Moreover, these will be promoted alongside publicity events, including familiarization trips for members of the foreign media and representatives of foreign travel companies in Thailand.
Other forms of publicity include content marketing with online and offline publications for expats in Thailand, focussing on businesses that are certified with the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration standard.