The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) unveiled its new ‘Eat Thai, Visit Thai’ campaign yesterday marking a collaboration between the tourism and restaurant sectors to help boost travel to the country.

The event attended by the prime minister of Thailand H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-Cha, saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding between TAT and seven Thai restaurant groups: Busaba Eathai, Giggling Squid, Koh Thai, Minor Group, Rosa’s Thai Café, Thai Leisure Group and Thai Square.

Eat Thai, Visit Thai will focus on 10 regions across the UK, particularly on areas with direct flight access to Thailand, highlighting an opportunity for agents to work alongside the Thai restaurants through a number of local events.

The seven Thai restaurant groups account for over 100 individual restaurants across the country.

“We believe there’s a real local opportunity for agents who will be based in the same towns and cities as these restaurants to come together and to do a whole series of local promotions,” said Chris Lee, head of marketing at Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The tourism authority has produced a toolkit, including collateral such as Thailand holiday postcards to be given out with restaurant bills, and menu clip-ins for competitions and special offers.

Thailand welcomed just under one million UK visitors last year, and while the main cities play host to the highest number of tourists, the campaign aims to raise the profile of the secondary cities.

“Each Thai restaurant group is going to be encouraged to adopt a region in Thailand and produce a specials menu which will have a special dish from that region and then a description of that area of Thailand,” explained Lee.

This focus on the country’s lesser-visited regions will also be reflected in the agent fam trips.

“Now we’re going to be making sure the agent fam trips aren’t just focused on the big resorts in Thailand,” he added.