By WATCHIRANONT THONGTEP
To tackle this tough situation, the STB yesterday announced a series of marketing campaigns in its five key markets in the region to celebrate Singapore’s 50th anniversary and welcome the regional economic integration, the Asean Economic Community, this year.
“In Thailand, we are going to introduce a campaign [called] ‘Experience Many Worlds in One Place” with [the] appointment of young famous actor Teeradetch ‘Alek’ Matavarayuth as Singapore tourism brand ambassador to Thailand,” Edward Koh, executive director for Southeast Asia, said yesterday.
Under this campaign, the STB will work closely with travel-related companies such as Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot, AirAsia, Resort World Sentosa, Asiatravel and Six Stars Travel and KTC to offer special promotion to Thais.
On top of Greater Bangkok, which contributes more than 60 per cent of tourists from the Kingdom, the campaign will be extended to second-tier cities such as Chiang Mai and Hat Yai.
“With [the] growing airline network connected to Singapore such as Scoot and Tiger Air, we would like to see more traffic of passengers via those key cities to our country,” Koh said.
Before the launch of its national tourism campaign in Thailand, the STB has already kicked off “Let’s Get Together” in Jakarta and “Your Best Weekend Yet” in Kuala Lumpur.
Koh said his team would soon announce “New Fun in Is Singapore Made” in Ho Chi Minh City, and next year will see “All the Good Things” in Manila.
“Given those campaigns, we aim to see a 1-3-per-cent increase in tourist arrivals from those key markets and maintain them at 40 per cent of total international tourist arrivals next year,” he said.
The regional chief of the Singapore’s tourism body acknowledged that the global economic climate, particularly a slump in Southeast Asian currencies, was a key factor affecting tourism performance both this year and next.
The STB expects flat growth in Thai tourist arrivals this year at about 507,000 visitors, while next year’s Thai arrivals will rise by 2 per cent from this year’s level.
As of August, tourist arrivals in Singapore from Thailand had dropped by 4.1 per cent compared with the same period last year.
Koh said aggressive marketing campaigns and visa waivers by Japan had contributed to declines in travel by Thais to Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Malaysia, as many opted to fly to Japan instead.