The use of ‘hug’ in the ‘HUG THAIS’ project’s name and overall campaign carries special significance, as this word in local northern Thai dialect means ‘love’. It was chosen to symbolize the campaign’s ‘Eat More’, ‘Travel More’ and ‘Shop More’ elements aimed at boosting public spending, in a warm and friendly manner.
Bangkok – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) to launch the ‘HUG THAIS’ project to stimulate Thai and foreign tourists’ spending to revive economy. H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said, “The ‘HUG THAIS’ project is the latest public-private sector initiative of TAT, the Thai government, and partners like the TCC to reinvigorate Thailand’s tourism industry and the wider national economy. Such cooperation is vital as Thailand progresses towards once again enjoying its status as a preferred tourist destination.
The ‘HUG THAIS’ project will be launched with the pilot ‘HUG THAIS HUG PHUKET’ programme in July 2021, to coincide with the much-awaited reopening of Phuket to tourism under the ‘Sandbox’ model, which begins 1 July. This will see the island welcoming vaccinated foreign tourists without quarantine requirements and is to be followed by the subsequent reopening of other destinations in the coming months.
Among the ‘HUG THAIS HUG PHUKET’ initiatives on offer to Thai and foreign tourists will be discounts of up to 10% when they spend 1,000 Baht or more in the retail sector, and 100 Baht cash coupons for use on their next visits at participating shops and outlets.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “The ‘HUG THAIS HUG PHUKET’ project is aimed at revitalising Phuket’s tourism and service industry and in doing so, leading the way for the similar revitalisation of other destinations around Thailand.
As the ‘HUG THAIS’ project will also be introduced in other Thai destinations, TAT will provide marketing and publicity support to stimulate travel and tourism expenditure of both Thai and foreign tourists on ‘Eat More’ local food, ‘Travel More’ within Thailand, and ‘Shop More’ for products of Thailand at shops and outlets with the ‘HUG THAIS’ logo.
Mr. Sanan Angubolkul, TCC Chairman, said, “The ‘HUG THAIS’ project corresponds with the TCC’s ‘Connect the Dots’ policy to revive the Thai economy. TCC will encourage hotels, airlines, transportation operators, restaurants, shopping centres and all tourism players to take part in the project, while providing support on marketing and trade activities particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises.”
The ‘HUG THAIS’ project is expected to help generate an estimated of over 100 billion Baht to the Thai economy within the next six months.