The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is using social networking to reach tourists and is confident it will become an important marketing strategy. Social networking is popular with consumers and marketers, especially Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, because of their low cost and high returns. Social networking yielded better results than expected for the TAT’s first project, Ultimate Thailand Explorers, with 7.89 million viewers in only eight weeks. It expects up to 25 million viewers when the project ends in February.

The project garnered 356 video clips from visitors with 638,720 viewers in eight weeks, while the contest was mentioned by 576,000 articles and blogs.

facebook-twitterThere were 21,250 news clips about the project, higher than the 2,000 expected. The 25 semi-finalists are promoting their clips in their homelands to woo as many votes as possible. This also promotes the country through social networks, said Suraphon Svetasreni, the TAT deputy governor for policy and planning.

The TAT will promote Thai tourism to registered voters participating in the project, a number expected to top 10,000 worldwide. It will also conduct research in the future.

“We set a budget of 35 million baht to promote Thai tourism online next year, up from 15 million this year,” said Mr Suraphon.

via TAT turns to social networking sites.

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