Dasta targets niche markets

SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2016

THE DESIGNATED AREAS for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Dasta) wants to promote more low-carbon destinations to lure niche travellers, particularly from Europe.

Director-general Nalikatibhag Sangsnit said recently that Dasta had introduced Koh Mak, the country’s first low-carbon island, to Western markets at the International Tourism Berse in Germany and the World Tourism Mart in England.
Dasta took along hotel and tourism operators from the island to meet with their counterparts in Europe at both tourism fairs.
Some companies have already sent tourists to the island while some are working on such plans.
“This year, we will continue pushing Koh Mak and maybe more low-carbon destinations. There’s a huge niche market in Europe,” he said.
Last year, Koh Mak received fewer than 1.5 million tourists, 90 per cent of them domestic travellers. Only 10 per cent came from overseas, especially Europe.
“Dasta found that only 10 per cent of tourists visiting Thailand are concerned about the low-carbon issue, so there’s a greater opportunity to increase such niche markets,” he said.
Dasta has been developing other destinations as low-carbon destinations such as Sukhothai Historical Park, villages in Nan and Loei, and a fishing village near Pattaya.
Dasta will ask the government for approval to draw up plans for new low-carbon destinations – Hua Hin/Cha-am on the Gulf of Thailand coast and Chiang Saen in the North.
Its project in Chiang Mai, Baan Rai Gong King Village, was recognised by the Pacific |Asia Travel Association for a |small community that has turned around from an unhealthy community to a health and wellness destination.
The community was selected for gastronomic tourism research commissioned by the Thailand Research Fund, aimed at designing a living interpretation through food.