By SUCHAT SRITAMA
Duangkamol Chansuriyawong, president of TEATA, said it planned to organise activities and familiarisation trips in a bid to boost ecotourism and adventure tourism, as these niche segments were becoming more popular among Thais and foreign tourists.
She said ecotourism, community-based tourism and the adventure sector generated total income of up to Bt300 billion a year.
“The number of solo tourists is increasing in Asia, including Thailand, following a global trend that happened earlier in the US and Europe. Today tourists want to explore local communities and experience solo adventures here,” she said.
Many solo tourists have travelled to 30-70 countries and mostly prefer to visit small towns and remote attractions.
This year, TEATA and its 60 members aim to raise awareness and encourage young travellers to visit communities. The association will work with the Dutch Embassy and a jazz band, Biggles Big Bang, to organise a music workshop for children on March 3 in Bangkok and in seven other provinces nationwide later next month. Children will be taught about music as it is part of a new trend in travel.
In June, the association and operators involved in ecotourism and adventure travel will join “Thailand Travel Mart Plus” in Chiang Mai province. The travel trade fair is expected to help buyers and sellers push ecotourism in the Northern region.
Duangkamol said TEATA and the Tourism Authority of Thailand would host fam-trips for international media and travel agents to experience adventure products. Low-carbon destinations will be part of the campaigns.
This year, TEATA plans to work with the Asian Ecotourism Network to promote adventure attractions. Meanwhile, it will work with the European Centre for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism to push awareness in Europe.
A group of bloggers are teaming up with TEATA for the first time to help promote niche tourism.