Thailand is hoping to achieve 200 million baht (US$5.3 million) in transactions from 20,000 online bookings for its "hot deals" from hotels and tour operators throughout the country within one year.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Juthamas Siriwan said 27 countries that lead the global ranks in online travel booking would be exclusively targeted under the ThailandHotDeal.com promotion.

She said the first phase of ThailandHotDeal.com created 80 million baht of online transactions for the six Andaman provinces of Thailand in the seven months to April this year.

Phase two featured "hot" deals from hotels and tour operators throughout Thailand, she said at the launch here.

Within the countries, the e-marketing campaign would promote both mass-market travel products and target niche interest consumers such as "metrosexuals", single ladies, expatriates in Asia, and visitors interested in cosmetic surgery, spa, golf, diving, eco-adventures, or buying a second property in Thailand.

She said TAT would buy online advertising and search engine positions on global consumer websites such as Google and Yahoo.

"The TAT has always considered the online tourist market as a strategic segment for growth. We are outsourcing our e-marketing campaign in order to meet the needs of that unique market segment," she said.

Juthamas said the travel industry should take the opportunity to submit "hot" deals to ThailandHotDeal.com.

"By 'hot deals' I don't mean those that will burn a hole in visitors' pockets, but deals that will burn a favourable impression in their hearts -- so that they go home and spread the good word about Thailand to their friends, neighbours and work colleagues," she added.

Over 100 hotel properties have already created special prices and packages for ThailandHotDeal.com which, as an online gateway, has been designed to drive bookings to hotels' and tour operators' existing online booking engines.

TAT launched the "Thailand - Unforgettable" campaign in its quest to attract 15 million foreign tourists and earn Bt547 billion next year, a 15 per cent rise from 13.3 million visitors this year.

Source: Bernama