By Zahara Zuhair
Creating a platform to provide the latest updates on Thailand’s tourism products and activities, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Mumbai Office together with its PR and Marketing office in Sri Lanka, MAC Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd, last week hosted a networking event in Colombo.
Thailand Ambassador Nopporn Adchariyavanich, who was a special invitee at the event, talked in detail about the newly imposed online visa appointment system.
Meanwhile, talking to Mirror Business, TAT ASEAN South Asia and South Pacific Region Department Executive Director Walailak Noypayak stressed the importance of promoting Sri Lanka as a tourist destination through global and social media.
“I noticed when I came here you celebrate 50 years of tourism. You have to do more to promote. It has to be done through global channels and media,” she said.
Since Sri Lanka is an island connected through air and sea, she said, the country had to consider more on providing offers, privileges and incentives to low-cost carriers in order to attract more tourists.
She also said Sri Lanka should focus more on India, which has a large population. “Sri Lanka needs air and sea connectivity. It’s like Indonesia. Indonesia now has opened up with a visa-free policy to promote the country and has made it easier for people to come to the country,” she said.
She said that the advantage Thailand has is its location, which is the neighbourhood of countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore. Thailand is considered as a connecting point when travelling to other countries and for low-cost carriers.
She said that Thailand has its own identity, which offers a variety of segments such as shopping, beaches, Thai food, entertainment, theme
“We are very best for shopping not only for luxury products but also all kinds of products. You can negotiate and bargain. We promote more high-end products like spa, health tourism; we want to rejuvenate Ayurvedic tourism. We are very popular especially among European tourists. A lot of Europeans just come to see the sunset,” she said.
She also said the Thai government was taking initiatives to protect and preserve the environment and its treasures through bringing in new regulations and strictly enforcing the laws that are already at its disposal.
She added that in Thailand the private and public sectors go hand-in-hand developing the country’s tourism product, while stressing the importance of involving the local community to take part in tourism activities.
Recognised as a complete destination management solutions provider, MAC Holdings organised a roadshow in Colombo last year, together with TAT with the aim of promoting trade, tourism and investments between the