Directors of the Tourism Authority of Thailand offices and TAT marketing representatives in Russia and the Asia-Pacific convened here today to discuss ways to expand the number of subscribers to the membership privilege scheme known as the Thailand Elite Card.
The meeting, called by Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of the Thailand Privilege Card (TPC) was designed to provide the TAT representatives in 12 countries with a full briefing on the privileges, terms and conditions, marketing tools, and sale kits required to promote memberships.
The event is in the buildup to a global relaunch of the Thailand Elite Card in June.
The Thailand Elite card project is designed to attract high net worth individuals and encourage them to make repeat visits to Thailand, whether for business or leisure. It is within the scope of the strategy to grow visitor expenditure and the economic impact of travel and tourism across Thailand.
Ms. Vilaiwan Twichasri, Deputy Governor of TAT and the Acting Managing Director of TPC stated that, “There were some key adjustments according to the change of the business environment and consensus of the Thai Cabinet; namely, privileges, sales and purchase conditions, as well as the marketing tools and sales kits.”
TAT and TPC are projecting about 1,300 new members within the first year after the launch, with about half expected before the end of 2013. The countries targetted in the first phase of the membership drive are China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Russia, and the ASEAN and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.
Under the revamped membership terms and conditions, cardholders will be able to join up for an initial down payment fee of two million Baht followed by a 20,000 Baht annual fee over a 20-year validity period. Cardholders will be eligible for a five-year Multiple Entry Visa to Thailand and a one-year stay privilege per visit.
They will also be able to avail of the Thailand Elite Personal Assistance (EPL) at Suvarnabhumi Airport and Phuket Airport, including a fast-track channel at the immigration counters and airport transfers by BMW series 7 limousines. They will also have a 24-hour call centre access for any special assistance.
One of the most important privileges is usage of high-standard, five-star golfing and spa facilities 24 times per calendar year.
Mr Suraphon Svetasreni said, “The Thailand Elite Card will go a long way towards helping TAT raise the level of visitor arrivals to new heights. It will certainly be good for our luxury hotels, boutique properties, shopping malls and the many niche-market products that we are now focussing on.”
He said that the first round of briefings for TAT representatives in Asia and Russia would be followed by another round of briefings later in June for TAT directors and marketing representatives in Europe, Africa, Middle East and America.
Later on, special marketing representatives will be appointed to work on a commission basis to sell subscriptions.