Thailand Authority Targets U.S. Market

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NEW YORK -- The Tourism Authority of Thailand said it will redirect most of its Amazing Thailand 1998-'99 marketing campaign to tap the U.S. and northern European markets.

"Most of our business is from regional countries such as Korea, Japan, Indonesia, etc., and now the tourism from Korea, Japan and Indonesia has dried up completely," said Nat Boonthanakit, marketing manager for the authority's New York office. "We are reassigning our funds. Instead of putting as much money in promoting within the region, we are supplementing the U.S. promotional efforts, and also in Scandinavia and [other] areas."

Boonthanakit said arrivals from Vietnam, for instance, have risen some 100%, and Thailand is seeing a jump in arrivals from African nations. The authority also said it will target eastern Europe, India, South Africa, the Middle East and South America.

The Amazing Thailand campaign seeks to reach Thailand's traditional tourism market as well as place a heavy emphasis on upscale segments such as golfers, honeymooners, senior travel and cruises.

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