Helping the Community Tourism Via #kidtuengchumchon
A project #kidtuengchumchon (I miss the community) is designed to connect tourism entrepreneurs and invite tourists to experience uniqueness, identities, and stories of each community. It is aimed to promote a community-based tourism which will help improve the quality of life of local people, decrease the social disparity, and create a true happiness to the communities.
Group Captain Athikun Kongmee, director of the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) or DASTA has revealed that prior to the spread of the COVID-19, DASTA has provided knowledge regarding an online marketing to the communities. The organization has encouraged the communities to promote their products and services through the communities’ online pages for the convenience of customers.
At the same time, DASTA has also worked with the communities to improve the quality of local products and studied about a “marketplace” distribution channel on the Smart DASTA platform to make it become one of the distribution channels for the local products. Recently, DASTA has launched the project #kidtuengchumchon in order to help the community tourism by building a network of tourism entrepreneurs who have been impacted by the pandemic.
Group Captain Athikun Kongmee
The project #kidtuengchumchon is divided into 3 phases – short-term, mid-term, and long-term. The short-term phase starts from creating a demand of the consumers by presenting and promoting local products and services via the online platform “Smart DASTA” together with telling stories for the consumers to get to know the communities better. Once the situation returns to normal, these consumers will be more likely to travel to these communities to experience stories and identities of the communities by themselves.
The mid-term phase (post COVID-19) will begin once the pandemic situation improves and people can start to travel again. In this phase, DASTA will create trust and confidence in the communities’ standards for the tourists while encouraging them to reserve travel programs with the tourism operators. The travel programs will include both must-try activities and products of each community for the tourists to get a complete experience. These travel programs are results of the cooperation between the Tourism Council of Thailand and 8 tourism associations under the DASTA network plus the Krungthai Card Public Company Limited or KTC.
For the long-term phase, DASTA will be collecting data related to marketing and traveling of the tourists for a data analysis. In addition, DASTA will also be maintaining relationships with its partners to develop the community-based tourism and make this type of tourism popular among Thai and foreign tourists in the long run. Once the #kidtuengchumchon has become a trend, there will be an increase in visits and re-visits as well as local product/souvenir purchases.
The project #kidtuengchumchon has also been supported by a few tourism-related agencies. For instance, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has promoted the community-based travel programs on TAT’s online platform called “Tourism Department Store” and the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has sponsored the tourism operators to bring in the visitors who would like to hold meetings, seminars, and CSR activities in the communities under a project called “Thailand Meeting Is Safer”. These are the examples of what relating organizations are doing to help promote the tourism in the local communities and ensure that people in the communities will truly benefit from this project.
As of now, there are about 40 communities in the project #kidtuengchumchon which covers the designated areas and tourism development districts. These communities are the ones that have been developed by DASTA, have received DASTA Awards in 2019, and been certified by SHA standards or Amazing Thailand Safety & Health Administration by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. During March 2021, the tourism operators are allowed to register and be part of the project in order to present and promote their community-based travel programs to the tourists and those who are interested.