Published On: Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014

Thai tourism launches selfie contest

BN-AS490_THSelf_EA_20131210032427Local travelers have been invited to enter the “Thailand Only Selfie Contest”, which the Tourism Authority of Thailand hopes will help boost year-end tourism.

TAT Governor Thawatchai Arunyik said the campaign was part of the agency’s social network marketing strategy.

The campaign will run during the New Year holiday from December 26 to January 4.

Local tourists can take a selfie at any tourist attraction in Thailand, except hometown attractions, and upload the photo via Instagram to FacebookFanpage/thailandonlyselfiecontest with Hastag#thailandonly. The sender must describe the attraction.

“The TAT set up this campaign to encourage those who love selfies especially when they’re travelling to other places during the coming New Year festival,” Thawatchai said.

Participants have the chance of winning travel packages in Thailand worth of Bt370,000. The biggest prize is a full-board package worth Bt100,000, while there will also be 10 popular-vote rewards.

The TAT will announce the winners on its website on January 20.

The agency has changed its focus to social networks as it is confident the selfie contest will draw a lot of locals because statistics show there are 93.4 million cell-phone numbers in use in Thailand, with 44.6 million of the total population of 65 million using the device.

This year, TAT predicted that domestic travel would reach 129 million trips, a slight increase from last year’s figure.

Income from the domestic market is expected to reach Bt800 billion.

Meanwhile, foreign tourists are expected to reach 25.5 million in 2014 and generate income of up to Bt1.2 trillion.

From January to November, the total number of international tourists reached 21 million.

In November and for the second successive month, the number of overseas arrivals rose on the year – with 2.4 million arrivals and a 2.5 percent increase. New figures released by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports showed that the main contributing factor for the increase was a 58.8 percent surge in Chinese visitors to 513,441.

The November arrivals are seen as a clear indicator that a tourism recovery is underway after political unrest in the first half of the year. Preliminary figures for daily visitor arrivals at international airports this month shows a steady upturn.

In November, the top 10 source markets were China, Malaysia, Russia, Japan, Singapore, Laos, Korea, India, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

By region, the largest source market was East Asia with 1.4 million visitors, up 10.8 percent on year. That represents 60 percent of all arrivals.

Visitors from South Asia grew 3.3 percent, largely due to recovery of the Indian outbound market, which was up 0.4 percent to 85,352.

The TAT plans to organise the Thailand Tourism Festival from January 14-18 at Lumpini Park in the heart of Bangkok and launch the national tourism campaign, “Discover Thai-ness”.

The campaign aims to promote awareness of the tourism attractions among Thais including among tourism operators.The TAT hopes to attract up to 4 million visitors during the six-day show.