In a bid to drive recovery and restore confidence, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has outlined its plans for 2021 and 2022. In addition to focusing on health and wellness breaks, TAT has launched a four-tiered tourism concept under a catchy and mischievous acronym: “SEXY”.
The new concept combines four elements that TAT sees as building blocks of a tourism resurgence in Thailand: Safety and Hygiene (S); Environmental Sustainability (E); Extra Experiences (X); and Yield (Y). According to TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn, the SEXY campaign will “help restore travellers’ confidence, while driving recovery for both the Thai economy and the tourism industry to make a comeback stronger than ever.”
First and foremost, TAT intends to focus on safety and hygiene in the tourism landscape. The Kingdom already has the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) protocols and certification programme, which was launched in May 2020 and has since been adopted by more than 8,000 businesses covering 10 key sectors nationwide. Panorama Destination has already received official SHA certification from TAT, having completed the requisite inspections and passed the safety criteria.
“TAT has taken this opportunity to promote Thailand’s health and wellness industry,” explained Yuthasak in December, following the completion of the Amazing Thailand Health and Wellness Virtual Trade Meet 2020, aimed at promoting wellness breaks to returning travellers, who are looking for safe and healthy holidays in Thailand; “among the world’s top destinations that international tourists [will] want to visit once the situation improves,” according to Yuthasak.
The second element of the SEXY campaign is Environmental Sustainability. To address this, TAT has committed resources to eco-friendly tourism development projects, including Upcycling the Oceans Thailand, and the Thailand Reduce Waste campaign.
Extra Experiences will comprise a range of innovative new products, complemented by services that can add value to the tourism experience. This will include additional safety measures and alternative programme features to get around limitations resultant from Covid-19 restrictions.
The final criterion of the SEXY campaign is Yield; essentially an emphasis on quality over quantity when it comes to arrivals. The inclusion of high-yield visitors indicates a more general move away from mass tourism in favour of source markets and demographics that generate more revenue.
“In implementing this tourism concept, TAT will be closely aligning its strategies with the policies and plans of the related public and private sector organisations,” said Yuthasak when asked about the practicalities of the new SEXY campaign. “Together, TAT and Thai tourism stakeholders will reshape the image of Thailand with core messages highlighting the importance of safe and sustainable travel,” he added.