UPDATED May 28, 2015 — For the second time around, a batch of university deans from Manila arrived in Thailand this year to learn about the country’s culture and tourism. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) invited school administrators from agriculture, tourism, and hospitality colleges for a familiarization tour of Hua Hin, a beach destination 200 kilometers from Bangkok that TAT believes will appeal to the student market.
The familiarization trip is TAT’s strategy to lure in more educational tours to Thailand from the Philippines. The tourism agency first sent school administrators to Thailand last year under the program.
“We invited some deans from universities and college to inspect the product, test the product first and then they can create up with their own itinerary for educational tours,” said Kanok Kittika Kritwutikon, TAT director in charge of Singapore and the Philippines, in an interview with Travel Update Philippines.
“Thailand and the Philippines are similar but, in detail, they’re different. It’s good for student in the universities or in the college to experience something quite similar but different,” she added.
Aside from increasing arrivals from the Philippines, TAT also wants the future generation of tourists to create their own good memories of Thailand, hinted the director.
TAT aims to expand the Filipino market by focusing on “quality leisure” market, or high-end travelers, and educational tours. “The number of tourists from the Philippines to Thailand is not high — 380,000 only from last year — but the spending is quite high because they’re spending at least four days, three nights in Thailand,” she said.