Japan to offer 10,000 free trips to foreigners to boost tourism industry

TOKYO —

Japan will offer 10,000 foreigners free airfares to visit the country next year, in an attempt to boost the tourism industry which has been hit by the ongoing nuclear disaster, a report said Monday.

The Japan Tourism Agency plans to ask would-be travelers to submit online applications for the free flights, detailing which areas of the country they would like to visit, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.

The agency will select the successful entrants and ask them to write a report about their trip which will be published on the Internet.

Tourism authorities hope that positive reports from travelers about their experiences in Japan will help ease international worries about visiting the country, the newspaper said.

The program, which will require travelers to cover other costs such as accommodation, is expected to start from next April, subject to government budgetary approval.

The number of foreign tourists to Japan fell more than 50% year-on-year during the three months after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that triggered meltdowns and explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The sharp drop began to ease somewhat in the summer.

In June and July, tourist figures were down 36% from a year ago, easing to 32% in August as the country worked to reassure foreign tourism markets.

The government has said Japan is safe except for the immediate vicinity of the crippled plant, where work crews are still trying to bring the facility to a cold shutdown.

From JapanToday

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Phuket seafood fiesta 2011

Phuket, August 1, 2011 — The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is to organise the “Phuket Seafood Fiesta 2011” during 1-31 August 2011 to attract visitors to one of the kingdom’s most popular beach resorts during the “Green Season” months.

Seafood lovers will be able to enjoy a vast range of Thai, Asian and global delicacies during the festival, which is being organised in cooperation with the Phuket Provincial Administration, numerous public sector agencies and the Phuket tourism industry.
Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said, “Phuket, one of the world’s most popular beach resorts, is already renowned for its excellent seafood, all prepared in a variety of different styles and combinations.

“The festival aims to create awareness of its outstanding seafood as a unique selling point and generate additional business for the main island as well as the many surrounding islands and resorts during what is traditionally known as the “low season” but which we now call the Green Season.”

The main events will comprise of the following:

More sales promotion and activities on 12-13 August 2011, from 1700-2200 hrs, on Rawai Beach and 25-26 August 2011 from 1700-2200 hrs at Chalerm Prakiat Park, Phuket Town of Phuket.
“Good Taste Best Price” campaign, with over 100 food shops and restaurants in Phuket giving special discounts of 10-20% for seafood dishes.
Musical performances and entertainment during the sales promotion activities.
Seafood cooking contest.
Cooking demonstration of local and international dishes by famous chefs.

Promotion of Thai cuisine is one of the TAT’s topmost priorities because it is an indispensable part of the travel and tourism experience.

Thai food is one of the most popular cuisines world-wide. There are thousands of Thai restaurants all over Europe, North America, Oceania and Southeast Asia ranging from elegant up-market outlets to fast-food take-aways.

Phuket is today Thailand’s second most important direct access gateway with a total of 521 domestic, regional and international flights per week. In 2010, the island attracted over five million domestic and international visitors, generating an estimated one billion Baht in income.

In recent years, the island resort has seen the development of a spectacular product range, especially spas, health and wellness resorts, attractions and boutique hotels. This has in turn attracted the interest of low-cost airline flights. One of the fastest growing market segments is weekend holiday breaks by visitors from neighbouring countries; such as, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and India.

For more information please visit http://www.phuketseafoodfiesta.com

Colours, Fun and Knowledge to Come Together at Thailand Tourisn Festival, June 8-12

Bangkok, 3 June 2011 — More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the Thailand Tourism Festival 2011 (TTF 2011), the annual travel and tourism showcase event targetting Thai and expatriate residents, to be held during June 8-12, 2011 at the Challenger Hall 1-3, Impact Muang Thong Thani Exhibition Centre between 10.00-21.00 hrs.

This event is being specifically held in conjunction with the Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2011, so that it may be visited by international trade visitors and help to further boost the publicity and promotional value for the variety and uniqueness of Thai tourism products and services from all regions.

The five-day event is expected to generate an estimated 150 million Baht, both directly and indirectly. One of its primary objectives is to promote domestic tourism and meet the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s 2011 target of 91 million domestic trips and estimated revenue of 432 billion Baht (US$13.03 billion).

“We want to stress the importance of domestic tourism to the national economy, especially in these days of frequent global crises which invariably have an impact on international visitor arrivals.”

This year, TTF is designed to focus on promoting sustainable tourism activities under a new campaign slogan, “Travel with a New Heart for a Sustainable Thailand”. The numerous promotional activities are divided into three categories:

Exhibition “The auspicious occasion of 7th cycle 84th birthday of His Majesty the King”: Participants will have a chance to send greetings and blessings to His Majesty the King through information technology.

Creating Awareness and Disseminating Tourism Knowledge: This section will be sub-divided into seven zones, as follows:

Zone 1 Tourism Authority of Thailand:
TAT will highlight the latest campaign “Travel with a New Heart for a Sustainable Thailand” and feature an exhibition of the TAT’s history, information technology, 1672 call centre, TAT magazine, etc.

Zone 2 Identity of each tourism destination in the five regions:
TAT together with related agencies from each region of Thailand will present and highlight the unique identities of major tourist attractions, tourism activities and products under the following themes:
Central region: “Variety of Tourism”
Northern region: “Valuable Culture, Beautiful Nature”
Northeastern region: “Destination for Learning, Places of Civilization”
Eastern region: “Colours of the East”
Southern region: “Beautiful Forest and Sea, Variety of Cultures”

Zone 3 “Travel with Knowledge, Preserve Tourist Attractions”:
This will highlight the many activities of the TAT under the 7 Greens campaign — Green Heart, Green Logistics, Green Attraction, Green Community, Green Activity, Green Service and Green Plus. In addition, the Thailand Tourism Awards “Hall of Fame”, ecotourism and adventure activities, health and wellness ;such as, salt spa and demonstration of different styles of Thai massages from the 4 regions will be presented in this zone.

Zone 4 “77 Dining Places, 77 Shopping Places in 77 Provinces”:
A showcase of outstanding dishes, famous menus, delicious fruits,and souvenirs from Thailand’s 77 provinces.

Zone 5 New dimension of “Holding Hands, Feeling with the Heart, Hug Thailand, Let’s Go Together”:
This will highlight the long-standing cooperative efforts between TAT and the many government agencies and private-sector bodies; such as, Ministry of Commerce, International Arts and Craft Promotional Centres, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, Office of Commerce in Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Provincial Office of Tourism and Sports, etc.

Zone 6 Entertainment:
Thai cultural performance, contemporary art performance and entertainment ;such as, Thai folk songs, Thai folk concert, magic show, Thai classical dance, pantomime (Khon) and mini puppet show will be shown on the main stage. There will also be a mock up of a temple fair atmosphere with fun games and outdoor cinema.

Zone 7 Technical seminars:
On June 9, consumers can attend three informative seminars on the following topics: “Destination Branding” from 09.30-12.00 hrs, and “Modern Destination Marketing” from 14.00-16.00 hrs. On June 12, 2011, a seminar on “Tourism Onward: Past and Present” from 09.30-17.30 hrs will bring together a number of Thai experts invited to share their views. All the seminars will be conducted in Thai.

“Travel Linkages Promotion”: Dozens of exhibitors from the public and private sectors including tour operators, travel agents, diving schools and equipment suppliers, spas, accommodation, airlines, golf courses, car rental companies, souvenirs, local handicrafts, local foods and entertainment suppliers are participating in this promotion.

People who buy travel packages at this event will have a chance to win special prizes as well.

Visitors who join the activity of “Travel with a New Heart, Travel Thailand Every Month” can collect the 12-points stamp on the TAT passport and have a chance to win a gift of “New Heart” from TAT.

For further information on the Thailand Tourism Festival 2011, please check http://www.tourismthailand.org or Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext 1336, 1337

International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: prdiv3@tat.or.th
Web site: http://www.tatnews.org