Mak­ing Thai­land a lu­cra­tive des­ti­na­tion

Chalermsak Su­ranant, Di­rec­tor for Tourism Au­thor­ity of Thai­land for Dubai and Mid­dle East, has be­come one of the most prom­i­nent tourism board pro­fes­sion­als driv­ing Thai­land and its tourism prod­ucts to in­cred­i­ble heights in its vi­sion to make it a top tour

TravTalk - Middle East - - SPECIAL FEATURE -

Early years

Born in Chi­ang Mai, the largest city in north Thai­land and home to Loy Krathong Fes­ti­val or The Fes­ti­val of Lights, Chalermsak Su­ranant has been in the fore­front in terms of tourism pro­mo­tions for his coun­try in the Mid­dle East.

Su­ranant started his pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion at Mont­fort Col­lege and at­tended high school at Yup­pa­raj Wit­tay­alai School. In 1975, he en­tered col­lege and ob­tained Bach­e­lor of Arts at Fac­ulty of Eco­nom­ics, Chi­ang Mai Univer­sity. In 1991, he be­gan his ca­reer in Tourism Au­thor­ity of Thai­land as As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor of Tourism Au­thor­ity of Thai­land, Chi­ang Mai Of­fice for two years. Af­ter­wards, he was as­signed as TAT As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor for New York of­fice from 1993 to 1997. In 2004, he be­came the Di­rec­tor of TAT Hong Kong of­fice un­til 2008. Dur­ing the same year, he went back to Chi­ang Mai to head TAT Chi­ang Mai of­fice un­til 2012 be­fore head­ing to Dubai in 2012 to lead TAT Dubai and Mid­dle East mar­ket un­til present time.


Su­ranant has re­ceived nu­mer­ous awards such as the Ex­cel­lent Brand of Tourism Par­adise Award in 2007, Ex­cel­lent Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion Award (Ex­cel­lent Tourism Depart­ment) from Hong Kong Lead­ers Choice Brand Award 2008 Event, Bangkok - Best City for Leisure in Asia Pa­cific be­tween 2006-2008: Win­ner in Chinese New Year in Cathay Pa­cific Chinese New Year Night Pa­rade and 2008 the Most Vi­brant Travel Des­ti­na­tion in Sport Tourism by X Life Mag­a­zine in X Life Sport Awards 2008 Event.

De­ter­mined for suc­cess

Su­ranant has been in­stru­men­tal along with his team to en­sure that there are more vis­i­tors to Thai­land from the Mid­dle East right through­out the year. From Jan­uary 1-De­cem­ber 31, 2016, Thai­land wel­comed 585,633 tourists from the Mid­dle East in­clud­ing Iran, gen­er­at­ing an in­come of more than 40 mil­lion Thai baht, a 15 per cent in­crease com­pares to same time last year.

The top five tourism spend­ing coun­tries in the Mid­dle East re­gion are the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.

De­signed to fit in with the “Year of Sus­tain­able Tourism Devel­op­ment” pro­claimed by the UN World Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion (UNWTO) for 2017, the “Unique Thai Lo­cal Ex­pe­ri­ences” cam­paign is be­ing ex­ten­sively pub­li­cised by the Tourism Au­thor­ity of Thai­land (TAT) at the Ara­bian Travel Mar­ket 2017, the largest travel trade show in the Mid­dle East re­gion be­ing held from April 24 to 27, 2017, at Dubai World Trade Cen­ter, Dubai, UAE.

TAT Di­rec­tor for Dubai and Mid­dle East mar­ket com­mented, “We are ex­tremely happy to an­nounce that TAT Mid­dle East of­fice re­ceived a 13 per cent in­crease in tourist ar­rival in 2016 com­pared to 2015. In 2017, we aim at in­creas­ing this num­ber and plan to at­tract more tourists dur­ing the green sea­son which will fall from May-Au­gust.”

Su­ranant and his ef­fi­cient team from the Thai­land tourism board in Dubai carry out a very good cam­paign to en­tice vis­i­tors from Dubai and other emi­rates with var­i­ous in­ter­est­ing events. Re­cently they in­tro­duced the des­ti­na­tion as the most af­flu­ent for golfers in Abu Dhabi, fol­lowed by a sum­mer pro­mo­tion cam­paign in one of the sig­nif­i­cant shop­ping malls in Dubai in or­der to en­cour­age more vis­i­tors to try out new des­ti­na­tions within Thai­land like Chi­ang Mai. Thai­land’s “Rose of the North” is a cul­tural and nat­u­ral won­der­land with eth­nic di­ver­sity, a mul­ti­tude of at­trac­tions and wel­com­ing hos­pi­tal­ity.

Chi­ang Mai lit­er­ally means “new city” and has re­tained the name de­spite cel­e­brat­ing its 700th an­niver­sary in 1996. King Meng Rai the Great founded the city as the cap­i­tal of the Lanna King­dom on Thurs­day, April 12 1296 around the same time as the es­tab­lish­ment of the Sukhothai King­dom. King Meng Rai even con­ferred with his friends, King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Phayao be­fore choos­ing the site where the cap­i­tal of the Lanna King­dom was to be founded. Hence­forth, Chi­ang Mai not only be­came the cap­i­tal and cul­tural core of the Lanna King­dom, it was also to be the cen­tre of Bud­dhism in north­ern Thai­land. King Meng Rai him­self was a very re­li­gious leader who even founded many of the city’s tem­ples that re­main im­por­tant to this day. Chi­ang Mai is one of the few places in Thai­land where it is pos­si­ble to ex­pe­ri­ence both his­tor­i­cal and mod­ern Thai cul­ture co­ex­ist­ing side by side: the city features cen­turies-old pago­das and tem­ples next to mod­ern con­ve­nience stores and bou­tique ho­tels.

This year TAT aims to of­fer “Value for Ex­pe­ri­ences” to trav­ellers com­ing to the King­dom by fo­cus­ing on “Unique Thai Lo­cal Ex­pe­ri­ences” to the world. In line with the Thai­land 4.0 model, TAT will high­light­ing a val­ue­based econ­omy driven by in­no­va­tion and look­ing to be a cre­ative econ­omy de­liv­er­ing cre­ative tourism. TAT has also ini­ti­ated the LINK project in which ‘L’ rep­re­sents Lo­cal Ex­pe­ri­ences; ‘I’ for In­no­va­tion; ‘N’ for Net­work­ing and ‘K’ for Keep­ing char­ac­ter. This is aimed to pro­mote the lo­cal tourism in var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties in Thai­land; such as, Ban Na Ton Chan Com­mu­nity in Sukhothai prov­ince, Kram Sakon in Sakon Nakhon prov­ince, Ban Nam Chiao Eco­tourism Com­mu­nity, Trat prov­ince, and Ko Klang Com­mu­nity, Krabi prov­ince.

From Jan­uary 1-De­cem­ber 31, 2016, Thai­land wel­comed 585,633 tourists from the Mid­dle East in­clud­ing Iran, gen­er­at­ing an in­come of more than 40 mil­lion Thai Baht, a 15 per cent in­crease com­pares to same time last year Chalermsak Su­ranant Di­rec­tor for Tourism Au­thor­ity of Thai­land for Dubai and Mid­dle East mar­ket

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