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Chiang Rai (photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand)

Thailand intensifies focus on 55 secondary areas

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has outlined a plan for greater promotion of what the country as a whole has to offer.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has developed a three-pronged approach to promoting 55 secondary destinations in the country from 2019 as it tries to spread tourism throughout the country.

The effort is part of the authority’s diversification strategy to better distribute tourism income and visitation across the country while encouraging low impact, community driven tourism, TTG Asia reports.

There is a need to position these secondary provinces within the bigger picture of Thailand’s development, TAT says, by creating models specific to each province – like a sports city in Buri Ram or a wellness city in Chiang Rai.

The 55 provinces get less than four million local and foreign tourists a year but they will become more visible in TAT’s future marketing campaigns.

This is helped by the fact that there are more than 4,000 tourist attractions and over 8,000 accommodation units in these secondary destinations, and these numbers are growing.

The most visited secondary destinations are Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son, and the destinations’ overall top source markets are Laos, China, the UK, Germany and France.

Three steps
The tourism authority has also identified three tourism promotion concepts for the secondary destinations. The first of these is local experience, providing visitors with in-depth experiences like community-based tourism, lifestyle, wisdom and local identity.

The second is future challenges, expanding the destinations’ economies in a sustainable and well-planned way, and the third is connecting the destinations with Thailand’s bigger cities.

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