Central Pattana (CPN) has joined hands with partners UnionPay International (Thailand), Kasikornbank and Thai Life Insurance to invest over Bt150 million in supporting the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and is encouraging Thais of Chinese descent to travel domestically, especially during the Chinese New Year period.
The travel drive has been organised under the concept of “Shop, worship Chinese gods and ancestors, eat and spend leisure time in one place” at 32 CPN shopping centres.
CPN has an additional marketing budget with which it hopes to attract more Chinese shoppers with a campaign entitled “The Great Chinese New Year 2018 – The Blessed Kingdom”, creating 32 auspicious heavens with the Four Symbols installation, where visitors can worship gods and see sacred jade and auspicious rare items with a total value of more than Bt5 billion.
An atmosphere of prosperity and luck will be created with items used for worship and fortune-telling sessions offered by Feng Shui consultant Sinsae Chang, the company said on Tuesday.
Auspicious foods can be enjoyed throughout the Year of Dog, along with Chinese New Year fashion during the whole of February.
Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana, CPN executive vice president of marketing, said: “This year, CPN would like to support government policy and encourage Thai-Chinese to spend money in the country to spur GDP [gross domestic product] with the concept of ‘Shop, worship Chinese gods and ancestors, eat and spend leisure time in one place’ at Central shopping centres.
“Chitra Konantakiet, a Chinese expert who has been invited as a guest of honour several times by Sinsae [Chang] in Hong Kong to attend lion-awakening rituals, is taking part as a special adviser for this campaign. We also have a popular illustrator, ‘Untitled 29’ [Piyaporn Chansiriwilai] to help design the Four Symbols, which will give our shopping centres an atmosphere on the theme of beautiful heavens.
“We expect to increase visitor traffic and boost our sales by 20 per cent.”
“As for the tourist market, the Chinese remain the top visitors, with the most powerful purchasing power. This year, we estimate that there will be 10-15 per cent more Chinese tourists visiting Thailand during Chinese New Year than last year. Chinese New Year falls in February this year and CPN is implementing ‘Micro Location’ and ‘Micro Moment’ strategies to support a tech-savvy group of tourists searching for travel information online,” he said.
“We added 100 per cent more marketing budget, targeting the new generation of Chinese tourists aged 24-35 with high income and the ‘first visit’ target group through a popular Chinese application that has over 200 million active users per month.
“We are focusing on promoting auspicious foods from popular restaurants and Chinese New Year landmarks in tourist destination cities such as Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya,” Nattakit added.