Bangkok, Thailand, February 21, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / WebBeds, a global marketplace for the travel trade, joined forces with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to hold its inaugural IMPACT Summit – a high-level event designed to help hoteliers forge a successful future, as the kingdom’s tourism recovery grows from strength to strength.
Close to a thousand hoteliers and global partners attended the event to learn about Thailand’s latest tourism strategies and hear expert insights from WebBeds’ commercial presidents from Europe, Middle East and Africa, Americas, and Asia Pacific.
Hosted at Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld on 8th February 2023, the IMPACT Summit saw senior executives from the TAT and WebBeds present industry updates – including Thailand’s strategic direction and the current booking data and trends – to an audience of more than 500 hoteliers who attended in person and over 400 other partners who livestreamed the summit from around the world.
The event was notable for the quality of speakers in attendance. The TAT was represented by Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, Deputy Governor of International Marketing for Europe, Africa, Middle East & Americas, and Chuwit Sirivajjakul, Executive Director for the East Asia Region, who helped delegates to understand the tourism environment and how to align their own business plans with the actions of the TAT.
During the summit, Siripakorn shared the TAT’s vision for its long-haul markets, which includes a focus on high value and sustainable tourism. The TAT’s action plan, which has been labelled “A-B-C-D”, priorities four key areas: “Airline Focus” (attracting more flights and greater capacity with airlines), “Big Cities & Beyond” (expanding Thailand’s source markets to more major urban centres around the world), “Collaboration is Key” (working with new strategic partners, including airlines, airports, tour operators and travel agencies), and “Destination for All” (making Thailand an all-year-round destination for a wider variety of market segments).
Chuwit Sirivajjakul then shared information about the TAT’s 2023 marketing campaigns and activations for East Asia, with a focus on the reopening Mainland China, as well as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He also revealed how consumer behaviour has changed over the years and what opportunities lie ahead for hoteliers targeting these important markets.
The IMPACT Summit marked the latest WebBeds initiative to stimulate travel and tourism in Thailand, following last year’s “Excel and Upsell” forum in Bangkok.
Daryl Lee, CEO of WebBeds, commented: “We are delighted to collaborate with the TAT once again, as WebBeds continues to support the growth of travel and hospitality in Thailand and around the world. This event marked our first IMPACT Summit and the fact that we chose Bangkok as the host city reflects the importance of Thailand as a global tourism powerhouse. At WebBeds, we firmly believe that our industry is always stronger when it works together, so we truly appreciate the strong support from the TAT. This was the first of many IMPACT Summits and we look forward to collaborating with our esteemed partners in the months and years to come, to help forge a strong and sustainable future for the entire industry.”
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, Deputy Governor – International Marketing for Europe, Africa, Middle East & Americas, added: “On behalf of the TAT, I am very pleased to have been invited to address this important event and meet so many of our trusted hotel partners. WebBeds has always been very supportive of Thailand and we are grateful that they chose Bangkok as the venue for the first IMPACT Summit. Thailand attracted over 11 million visitors in 2022, which exceeded our earlier projections. By aligning our strategies we can accelerate the recovery and attract even more international travellers to our country in future.”
Thailand welcomed a total of 11.15 million international visitors in 2022, with Malaysia, India, Singapore and South Korea the top performing source markets. An initial target of 25 million arrivals has been set for 2023 and while this remains lower than the 40 million visitors achieved in 2019, it represents a sharp improvement from the COVID-affected years and shows that the kingdom is experiencing a V-shaped recovery.
The IMPACT Summit in Bangkok marked the latest phase of WebBeds’ mission to re-energise travel, tourism and hospitality in Asia Pacific. The company will announce further dates and locations for its IMPACT Summits in the coming months, so stay tuned for further updates.