Thousands of Japanese participated in the fun-filled Thai Tourism Festival organised in Tokyo between 11-12 May, auguring well for the future growth potential of Japanese visitor arrivals in 2013.
Ms. Pensuda Prai-aram, Chairperson of the TAT Board of Directors attended the 14th Thai Tourism Festival, along with Mr. Sansern Ngaorangsri, Deputy Governor for the Asia and South Pacific Market and other senior TAT executives.
Organised annually since 2000 by the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo, the Thai Tourism Festival or Thai Fest is designed to build the brand image of Thailand among the Japanese public, promote Thai products, services and tourism, and remind Japanese people of the long-standing diplomatic, economic, cultural and political relations between the two countries.
Along with TAT included the participation of several Thai government agencies who were led by Mr. Thanatip Upatising, Thai Ambassador to Japan and private sector organisations under the banner of “Team Thailand.” This year’s festival was held immediately after the Golden Week at Yo Yo Ngi Park, Shibuya district, Tokyo.
The Thai tourism pavilion was designed in a Central Thai architectural style, with colourful floral decorations and images of popular tourist attractions, especially the distinctive landmark of Bangkok, the "Giant Swing".
The fair featured 191 booths and shops promoting Thai products; such as, the Royal Projects, Thai restaurants and Thai fruits. Proving particularly popular were the performances of Thai classical dance and folk music by the Rajabhat Thonburi Educational Institute, Thai Children Musical band, and other performances by Miss Thailand, Thai actors and singers; such as, Thailand Boy band XIS, Tong and Jennie, Art Thom Ya, Bob Modern Dog, Thaitanium, etc.
Visitors also saw demonstrations of making garlands, Krathongs and handicrafts. They could also learn some of the simple Thai classical dance movements.
In addition, the TAT’s Mascot “Sukjai” or Happy Chan was on hand to invite visitors to pose for photographs. This proved to be particularly popular, especially with children who posted the pictures on their social media links.
Mr. Sansern Ngaorungsi, TAT Deputy Governor said, “In line with our marketing strategy of promoting ‘Thainess’, we designed the booth specifically to promote Thai arts and culture and make good use of interactive technologies to spread awareness and maximise the exposure.”
He added, “We believe that participation in this year’s event will raise Thailand’s awareness level to new heights. I would like to thank all those who helped make it a success.”
In 2012, Japanese tourists to Thailand totalled 1.3 million, an increase of 21.58 percent. In Jan. – Apr. 2013, Japanese arrivals totalled 520,415, up 19.16 percent over the same period of last year.
In 2013, TAT is expecting 1.42 million Japanese visitors, generating an estimated 55,690 million Baht in tourism revenue.
Japan is Thailand’s largest trading partner, while Thailand is Japan’s sixth largest trading partner. In terms of investment, Japan is the largest group of investors in Thailand, with investment value of 312 billion Baht, accounting for 63 percent of the total foreign direct investment in Thailand. There are about 7,000 Japanese companies operating in Thailand.
Thailand and Japan celebrated the 125th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2012.