Settling comfortably into the plush interior of The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco, Srettha Thaugsuban had an engaged and constructive dialogue with executives from two significant digital powerhouses, TikTok and Booking.com. In a setting far removed from his homeland, he passionately laid out his vision for promoting Thailand on these global platforms.
An anticipating Srettha warmly greeted the TikTok executives with a friendly reception, acknowledging his understanding of the platform’s extensive influence in Thailand. “The encounter was in no way startling, considering the staggering statistic of 43 million TikTok users residing in Thailand. It’s an astounding number. It is undeniable that our citizens exhibit a profound fondness for sharing their life fragments via the moving image on TikTok,” he elaborated.
Srettha emphasized his government’s dedication to facilitating a favourable environment for TikTok to thrive in Thailand. Simultaneously, he proposed using their widespread influence to endorse Thai-produced goods, pointing out ‘Otop’ or ‘One Product One Tambon’ goods as potential candidates. As an advocate for the diverse Thai provinces beyond Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Bangkok, Srettha was keen on utilizing his nation’s merchandising power to project a positive image.
In what could be a game-changing move for the Thai entrepreneurial line-up, Srettha suggested TikTok open a training center in Thailand. This initiative is aimed at equipping a new generation of Thai entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to leverage the TikTok platform effectively.
In response to this, the Prime Minister willingly offered tax incentives curated by the Board of Investment. The proposal was met with an enthusiastic reception, as the tax incentives appealed to the TikTok officials.
Simultaneously, Srettha also highlighted opportunities for further improvements on the global platform Booking.com to boost foreign arrivals in Thailand. He referenced the surge in platform visits, which skyrocketed sevenfold, following his administration’s visa exemption for tourists from specific countries. Recognizing this as a starting point, he believes strategic and targeted marketing could perpetuate this success significantly.
Furthermore, Srettha brought attention to Agoda, another Booking.com-owned platform, noting its considerable influence in Thailand with a large Thai workforce. He endorsed these booking platforms to utilize their capacity and influence to engage in promoting Thailand’s vibrant tourism industry. He suggested that this collaboration would effectively establish Thailand’s tourism platform as a formidable force on the international stage. The executives showed an interest in unlocking this potential and pledged to open lines of communication with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to establish a cooperative relationship with the Thai government.