BANGKOK – May 12, 2011: The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is collaborating with three key stakeholders to help plan a course for the future of Thai tourism in an interactive forum called "Mapping the Future," which will take place on Thursday, 19 May, 2011, at the Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok.

The TAT is joining with the Thailand Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT), and Skal Thailand to gain both a local and international perspective. The aim is to develop a strategy that ensures a prosperous and sustainable future for Thailand's tourism sector that meets the needs of the industry as well as visitors to the country.

"Stakeholder involvement is the key to successful collaboration, as industry practitioners will provide us with real and practical insights to help reshape the Thai travel industry for positive growth and development in the years to come," said TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni.

The participants in the "Mapping the Future" forum will explore Thailand's tourism marketing in areas including strengthening Thailand's brand image, promoting sustainable tourism, use of e-marketing and social media, and reputation management.

With the increasing role that Chinese tourists are playing in the Thai tourism industry, it is an honour for the TAT to have Dr. Xu Chen from the China Tourism Academy, to provide a keynote address on the "Tourism Satisfaction Index and the Role of Chinese Outbound Travellers in the Future of Thai Tourism". Moreover, Mr. Tim Riches, Chief Growth Officer-Asia Pacific of FutureBrand, will be talking about "Strengthening the Thailand Brand Image".

Mr Tiwa York, who's leading the digital business of Omnicom Media Group Thailand will talk about "e-Marketing and Social Media". Dr David Beirman, a renowned tourism academic from the University of Technology, Sydney, is an expert in crisis and issue management and will share his perspective on "Reputation Management", which is a very useful topic for anybody in the hospitality and tourism industry business.

Apart from their valuable insights, the key speakers will also facilitate brainstorming sessions related to their area of specialization, plus participating in a panel discussion where they will be interacting directly with the participants of the seminar.

The seminar will close with Professor Frank Go from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, who will provide his vision of the road ahead for the Thai tourism industry.

"With highly relevant topics and an open feedback format, we hope that the 'Mapping the Future' forum will be a great venue to get together and discuss the opportunities and challenges facing Thailand's tourism sector. The TAT is looking forward to gaining insights from industry practitioners, who will provide perspectives that are truly practical and market-focused," concluded Governor Suraphon.

Any organization or individual interested in participating in the "Mapping the Future" forum should contact the PATA Thailand Chapter at telephone number (+66) 2237 5195-9 ; fax number (+66) 2237 5190, or by e-mail at: pata@asiaaccess.net.th.

For more information, please visit: http://www.pata-thailand.org/events_activities.html

The forum is conducted in English and the registration fee is 500 Baht payable on the day.

About the PATA Thailand Chapter

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Thailand Chapter is a voluntary not-for-profit membership organisation that supports the responsible development of the travel and tourism industry in Thailand. The Chapter organises tourism training seminars, disseminates useful information to its members and the media and supports the strategic objectives of PATA head office. The Chapter comprises both private and government sectors. Further information: www.pata-thailand.org.

© 2010 Pacific Asia Travel Association Thailand Chapter. All rights reserved.