Top media from Europe and the Middle East embarked on over a week-long mega joint familiarisation trip that combines travel opportunities in Thailand and Cambodia. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) together with Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia and Bangkok Airways are hosting the fam trip, which took place from 15 – 23 May, 2016, as part of a wider ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) connectivity initiative and to highlight secondary destinations in Eastern Thailand that can be combined with trips to neighbouring Cambodia.
40 media representatives from across Europe and the Middle East attended the welcome reception on 15 May, 2016 that kicked start the eight-day mega joint fam trip, featuring Eastern Seaboard Thailand and Cambodia.
ASEAN officially launched the AEC last December and one of the objectives is to facilitate cross-border travel within the community. Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Executive Director for Europe, Africa and Middle East Region said, “This mega fam trip will create awareness of Thailand’s gateway status to neighbouring ASEAN and provide insights and inspiration to build multi-destination itineraries while offering exceptional holidays along our Eastern Seaboard provinces. Thailand is also a convenient entry and exit point to explore destinations in neighbouring Cambodia”. TAT offices across Europe and the Middle East invited 40 media representatives. They are currently participating in the fam trip, which includes product briefings and updates on new destinations and attractions woven into an eight-day itinerary featuring Eastern Seaboard Thailand and Cambodia.
Positioning Thailand as an ASEAN gateway, the mega fam trip programme underscores the potential for multiple destination holidays that explore neighbours; Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and Vietnam. The latest mega fam trip project is based on routes and themes that will illustrate the diversity of travel opportunities in Eastern Thailand and neighbouring Cambodia. The mega fam trip offers three thematic routes focusing on Ancient Wisdom, Heritage and Nature; Heritage Rediscovered and Exploring the Beaten Track for the first four days in Eastern Thailand. They will be followed by a trip to explore Cambodia, crossing the border in Trat province in Eastern Thailand.
Ancient Wisdom, Heritage and Nature covers the route Prachin Buri to Chanthaburi. The trip focuses on medical tourism products; such as, the study of traditional medicine and its fascinating history linked to the Chao Phya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital. There is also a visit to the Ban Dong Bang Samunphrai Community to plant medicinal herbs, while enjoying time-out at the Chanthabun Riverside Community.
Heritage Rediscovered covers the route Chanthaburi to Trat. It explores the tourism products and lifestyle experience of the Chanthabun Riverside community and visits historical sites at Wang Suan Ban Kaeo and Ban Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn. The focus on community-based tourism extends to a gem mine and a community famed for its gem cutting and polishing in Chanthaburi and the Ban Chang Thun community and Trat Museum.
Exploring the Beaten Track covers the route Nakhon Nayok to the Chang Island archipelago in Trat province. The trip focuses on river related and marine soft adventure activities; such as, rafting at Khun Dan Prakan Chon Dam and a visit to Chang Island’s famed beaches and archipelago where island communities are noted for sustainable tourism experiences like marine tourism in the Ban Nam Chiao community
TAT’s multi-destination fam trips are based on feedback that suggested more than 60% of media and travel agency participants on past trips sought to combine more than one ASEAN destination into their tour itineraries.