Count the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in on the global trend of trying to appeal to baby boomer travelers to visit its shores. More than 70 million potential visitors with money to spend cannot be ignored.
TAT has launched a campaign in American TV, print, and online ads as well as enhanced social media outreach to convince boomers to journey to the land of colorful temples and palaces, flower markets, kick boxing, and, of course, some of the world’s best food.
Prime beaches, certainly, are part of the mix, but Thai Tourism officials are stressing that there’s a lot more to Thailand than sun and sand (which, after all, the Caribbean provides in much greater proximity).
There are elephants to ride, tribal villages and ancient ruins to visit, rivers and klongs (canals) to travel along, and did we mention the food?
And knowing boomers as I do, especially after a long plane flight to Asia, I hope they’re promoting Thai massage in these ad spots. Thailand has emerged as a major force in medical tourism, but Thai massage alone can go a long way toward curing what ails you.
In short, Thailand is the kind of exotic bucket list destination that many boomers are looking for.
“The new baby boomer traveler is no longer a passive consumer looking for a traditional fly and flop experience,” said TAT-New York Director Srimala Waraphaskul, in what might get my vote as the most entertaining description of standard beach-going holidays I’ve heard all year.
“They look for an unforgettable, customizable, and authentic interaction with each destination,” the director continued, “and we are prepared to offer them just that and more.”
I concur completely with this assessment of what boomers are seeking on a trip, and would add that Thailand has long been one of my own favorite destinations. They don’t call if Amazing Thailand for nothin’, as the saying goes. It’s a relatively small country that packs a lot in.
The TV spots, produced by an agency called Global Advertising Strategies, are airing in big markets like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago on networks like CNN, AMC, TNT, The Travel Channel and the National Geographic Channel.
And these spots seem spot on to this baby boomer.
Readers, can you identify the James Bond film that Koh Tapu island (pictured above) appeared in?
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