21 September 2015

GTA launches social media campaign to drive travel to Thailand after explosion 

Major campaign launches to maintain Thailand’s tourism popularity following Bangkok explosion which caused a fall in visitor numbers. As well as special offers at 32 hotels in Bangkok and Phuket, GTA gives away 10,000 free, limited edition #ThailandStrongerTogether t-shirts and encourages travellers to upload photos and inspiring captions to Instagram. Responsible for bringing more than 1.2 million tourists to Thailand last year, GTA reminds travellers of their power to support local communities and jobs by continuing to visit.

Global travel distributor GTA today (21 September 2015) launches a major campaign to help maintain Thailand’s popularity as a tourist destination. Announced at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok in partnership with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the ‘Stronger Together’ campaign will increase awareness of the appeals of Bangkok and Phuket, highlight value for money accommodation in 32 specially selected hotels and drive visits to the destination from key markets in Asia and the Middle East.

The campaign will engage travellers already visiting Thailand with a t-shirt giveaway featuring Iyara the Asian elephant, a national symbol of the destination, and the hashtag ThailandStrongerTogether. 10,000 specially designed, limited edition t-shirts will be given to travellers staying at promoted hotels. The ‘stronger together’ message reminds travellers of their ability to support local communities and economies by continuing to visit Thailand. GTA and TAT will encourage them to take selfies while wearing the t-shirts and become a ‘social media army’ raising support of the destination. They will be asked to post their pictures to Instagram with inspiring or motivational captions: the best one will win a three-day trip to Thailand with GTA.

Responsible for bringing more than 1.2 million tourists to Thailand last year, GTA distributes accommodation options, ‘in destination’ services and a rich range of experiences to a network of tens of thousands of travel agents worldwide. For this campaign, its extraordinary reach will target travel agents in cities in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates and other parts of the Middle East.

Daryl Lee, GTA’s Regional Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, says: “With 40 years in business powering global travel, GTA can help Thailand’s tourism industry welcome back customers from around the world. Although the explosion affected bookings in August and September, by the end of the year we think the Stronger Together campaign will have brought Thailand more visitors than in 2014.

“Thanks to the longstanding partnerships we have with the hospitality and travel trade, we have brought together 32 of the destination’s hotels and attractions to drive even stronger awareness that there is no reason to postpone a visit.”

The first high level, large-scale, public- and private-sector collaboration led by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and GTA, the month-long ‘Thailand, Stronger Together’ campaign comes after the explosion at a popular tourist site in Bangkok in the height of the holiday season, which caused a fall in visitor numbers. The ‘Thailand, Stronger Together’ theme reminds the world of the role that travel can play to support jobs and prosperity, particularly in Thailand where travel and tourism generates 19% of the country’s GDP.

In the first seven months of 2015, the number of people visiting Thailand thanks to GTA’s industry partnerships rose by 58%. Its strong reputation in China, Hong Kong and Singapore particularly has seen the number of passengers more than double from each of these source markets. Now GTA has leveraged these longstanding partnerships with the hospitality and travel trade to agree a series of special offers and deals for travel between 22 September and 31 October 2015. They include 32 three- to five-star hotels offering two-night stays for the price of one (Stay-2, Pay-1) and, in some properties, discounted food and drink too, as well as up to 50% off airport transfers and sight-seeing tours.