HOTELS.COM, an accommodation-booking website, has rolled out a new online campaign aimed at putting Thailand back on top of travellers' wish lists.
Named after the traditional Thai welcome gesture, the “Wai Thailand” campaign invites Thais of all ages and occupations – as well as past and potential future visitors – to submit their own wai photos via a tailor-made Facebook app.
The “Wai Thailand” Facebook campaign begins today in the United States, Thailand, Australia, Singapore and India. Participants have until February 28 to upload their wai photos.
“The wai gesture – the pressing of palms together in a prayer-like fashion – is the traditional way Thais greet people, express gratitude and demonstrate respect,” said Abhiram Chowdhry, vice president and managing director of Hotels.com Asia-Pacific. “Encouraging people everywhere, from all walks of life, to share their own wai photos is a fantastic way to showcase Thailand’s unique character and welcome travellers back to the country.”
In addition to showcasing the country’s mix of culture, people and places for a global audience, Hotels.com is planning to collect the thousands of individual photos submitted from all over the world to create a huge “Wai” mosaic.
“By sharing their greetings with us, everyone will get a chance to help create a huge, international greeting to remind the world of Amazing Thailand. It will also demonstrate respect for Thai culture and thanks to the warm and friendly Thai people who have over the years shown themselves to be the most hospitable hosts to people from all over the world,” Chowdhry said.
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, executive director of the information-technology office at the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said the campaign would show the world that Thailand has always been a fantastic destination that genuinely offers a “Thainess” experience for everyone.
“The campaign will show that this hasn’t changed and encourage travellers the world over to visit and enjoy their own personal wai experience,” he said.