TAT to organise Thailand’s first Rural Tourism Awards
Jul 22, 2020
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is going to organise the first Rural Tourism Awards to recognise the significant role of the country’s diverse local communities in preserving arts, culture, heritage and cuisine.
The Awards will enhance the quality of community-based tourism nationwide, create international awareness, give the villages marketing exposure, enhance their confidence, and motivate the villages to upgrade their standards and facilities.
The Awards are being organised by TAT in cooperation with the Department of Community Development, Department of Tourism, Department of Cultural Promotion, Department of Agricultural Extension, Department of Industrial Promotion, Department of Cooperative Promotion, Organisation for the Development of Special Areas for Sustainable Tourism (DASTA), Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), National Village and Urban Community Fund, Government Savings Bank, Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, Pracharat Rak Samakkhi (Thailand), public and private universities, tour companies, tourism associations and more than 40 grassroots community organisations.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “This is an historic rural tourism contest that has involved the successful collaboration of a broad range of public and private sector bodies and educational institutions. We want to promote and encourage rural tourism villages to be strong and self-reliant. This is in line with the national policy to promote rural development, create jobs, and develop a sustainable economic foundation. The Awards would also meet TAT’s objective to integrate tourism with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially the poverty-alleviation target.
“The Awards are also very timely due to the emphasis on domestic tourism as a result of the downturn in international arrivals caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This will enhance a sense of pride amongst the communities and help them attract visitors via the publicity and marketing exposure. It is quite possible that some of them may also be chosen for listing on online booking platforms.”
The Thailand Rural Tourism Awards will be divided into two categories:
A. The Top 5 Rural Tourism Villages:
1) Best Creative Experience Village
2) Best Agro-tourism Village
3) Best Homestay Village
4) Best Responsible Tourism Village
5) Best for Company Outing Village
B. The Top 5 OTOP Tourism Villages:
1) OTOP Tourism Village (Decorative Products)
2) OTOP Tourism Village (Herbal Products
3) OTOP Tourism Village (Food and Beverage Products)
4) OTOP Tourism Village (Fabric and Clothing Products)
5) OTOP Tourism Village (Various Products)
A total of 25 rural tourism villages (5 villages per category) and 100 OTOP villages for tourism have been nominated. A committee of experts from all departments will consider the selection of the 15 final communities (3 communities per category) before travelling to each community to decide the award winners, ranked 1-3 in each category.
TAT has also invited tourists to vote for the best communities. The scoring criteria will be based on 70% input from the judging committee and 30% from the tourists.
The Rural Tourism Awards will be conferred on 27 September, 2020, commemorated as World Tourism Day. The OTOP Village for Tourism Awards will be conferred at a later date this year.
OTOP stands for ‘One Tambon (meaning sub-district) One Product’. It is a local entrepreneurship stimulus programme, which aims to support the unique locally made and marketed products of each Thai tambon all over Thailand. It selects one superior product from each tambon to receive formal branding as a “starred OTOP product”, and provides a local and international stage for the promotion of these products.
OTOP products cover a large array of local products, including handicrafts, cotton and silk garments, pottery, fashion accessories, household items, and foods, all of which are popular with both domestic and foreign visitors.
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