Spirit of the South

Posted on December 1, 2011


The Tourism Authority of Thailand joins up with MasterCard to draw more tourists from Asian and Australia to Krabi.

Located on the west coast of Thailand’s and home to several national parks, Krabi has never been marketed as a tourist destination as aggressively as Phuket, which lies directly to its west. Over the last 10 years, it has been discovered by Westerners but the tourist and local authorities feel the province could be drawing many more visitors, especially from Asia and Australia.

To this end, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently launched the “72 Hours Amazing Krabi and Beyond” campaign with the aim of attracting local and regional tourists to the province.

“Visitors will be amazed by the beautiful stretches of protected bays, white sand beaches and clear water as well as the snorkelling, scuba-diving, kayaking, canoeing or fishing,” says Sansern Ngaorungsri, deputy governor for international marketing (Asia and South Pacific) at TAT.

A guidebook in English, also titled “72 Hours Amazing Thailand Krabi and Beyond” is being distributed to TAT offices around the globe and is available at bookstores for Bt250. The booklet lists everything Krabi has to offer including hotels and resorts, cafes and restaurants, shopping outlets and interesting activities.

Sansern said the project follows six successful TAT campaigns: Amazing Bangkok; Chiang Mai; Hua Hin and Beyond; Pattaya; Phuket; and Khao Yai and Beyond.

Gregg Hirano, vice president and country manager for MasterCard Worldwide (Thailand), the main sponsor of the campaign, said all MasterCard holders travelling overseas or living in Thailand would qualify for discounts and privileges offered by more than 100 merchants in Krabi.

According to a recent MasterCard survey of consumer travel, Krabi was among the top five destinations that Thais were planing to visit in the next 12 months.

“This is my first time in Krabi “and I’m really enjoying it. There are many beautiful places and I hope to come back and explore some more,” said Hirano, an American who has been working in Thailand for three months.

Sansern said 70 per cent of tourists in Krabi come from Europe. This campaign aims to lure more tourists from China, Indonesia, India and Australia.

Besides its natural attractions, Krabi’s strongest selling point is that it is easily accessible both by air and land, he said.

Ittirit Kinglake, president of the Krabi Tourism Association, said Krabi earns about Bt30 billion a year from tourism, making the industry second only to agriculture for the province.

While European tourists tend to visit for relatively long stays during the high season from November to May, those from Asia tend to take short vacations but visit year-round, Ittirat said.


Posted in: Krabi