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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thailand Joins Google in Bid to Create Worlds Largest Online Photo Album


The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is joining forces with the Google+ to launch a new social-networking publicity campaign intended to create the world's largest online photo album of Thai tourism attractions and cultural traditions.

Known as "ThailandOnly (share to the world)", the campaign will run between 11 November - 10 December, 2013. Visitors will be invited to share photos of Thai tourist attractions and traditions through Google+ (Google Plus) using the Hashtag #ThailandOnly.

Mr. Apichart Inpongpan, TAT Deputy Governor for Policy and Planning, said, "Judging by the responses to our previous online campaigns, we are expecting this campaign to be a huge success. If the numbers are large enough, we hope to set a Guiness World Record for the largest online photo album."

Mr. Apichart said that creative use of digital media and social networking has become the most cost-effective way of generating positive publicity and a good image of Thai tourism in an era of intense competition for the visitor dollar.

He said, "In recent years, TAT has developed aggressive online and digital marketing strategies to promote tourism via all forms of new media and across all devices; such as, mobile phones, smartphones, and tablets. These have been designed to reach specific target audiences worldwide, especially young travellers and families."

Mr. Apichart added, "I would like all Thais to help us promote this project by telling their friends, families, and both Thai and foreign visitors who love Thailand that they can create history by taking photos of tourist attractions and traditions in Thailand and uploading them onto Google+.

"We can begin with the ThailandOnly Loi Krathong Photowalk, since this very elegant and photo-friendly festival is traditionally celebrated by Thais and visitors alike. Those who would like to join the "ThailandOnly Loi Kratong Photowalk", can come to The Asiatique Riverfront in Bangkok at 1700 hrs on 17 November, 2013, and start uploading their photographs of the many enjoyable activities that will be organised."

Social media networks are playing an increasingly important role in the tourism sector. The Internet has changed consumer behaviour in many ways, both in terms of the way people buy their travel products, the destinations they choose, the amount of time they have to travel, and the amount of money they
spend.

People are eager to share experiences via social media, making it the equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing, the most powerful means of personalised publicity for any destination.

Mr. Apichart said, "TAT has been using digital marketing to promote Thai tourism for many years, and we will continue to tap into a wider pool of travellers through social networks, online games, and mobile applications such as "Lifestyle Thailand" and "SpeakThai Application". Both apps are available for free at http://mobile.tourismthailand.org/

TAT has also launched the Thailand Super Quality Portal (www.thailandsuperquality.com ) in an effort to increase both the quality of tourism products and attract more high-spending visitors. The mini site presents the very best of Thailand's luxury products and services. Since launching it in April 2013, more than 800 operators and 14,078 members have registered.

Another campaign, known as "The Little Big Project", a global digital marketing Volunteer Tourism competition, was run earlier this year to inspire worldwide travellers to take a volunteer vacation in Thailand. It won the Digital Innovation Asia Award 2013.

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