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Thailand’s Northeast given major tourism boost

Vicky Karantzavelou - 10 January 2013, 10:45

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is collaborating with travel trade partners to promote the destination by organising Amazing I-San Fair 2013.

BANGKOK - Long overlooked by the international tourism industry, Thailand’s northeastern region, called “Isan” by Thais, is being given a major boost with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) collaborating with travel trade partners to promote the destination by organising Amazing I-San Fair 2013. The fair will be held during January 24th-27th, 2013, at Plenary Hall, Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.

There are more than 60 operators participating in the fair including travel agents, airlines, accommodations, and producers of local handicrafts. The travel fair is aimed at increasing tourist traffic from Bangkok and other provinces to Isan.

For decades, Isan was perceived as a remote, underdeveloped area that held little tourism appeal. Things began to change as the region’s transportation network expanded in the 1980’s and a number of historical sites and nature reserves opened up to the public. In recent years, the Northeast has seen an influx of domestic and foreign travelers going for its unspoiled nature and chic resorts. It is also the main gateway to the many wonders of the neighboring countries of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni said “The Isan culture has its own uniqueness. Visiting Isan is another way to gain memorable experiences with enjoyment and recreation.”

The fair is divided into 6 Amazing Zones;

  1. Isan Arts Crafts and Festivals
  2. Isan Buddhist Heritage
  3. Isan Chic and Chill
  4. Charm of Isan way of life
  5. Heritage of Isan Weaving and
  6. Isan local dishes.
Live cultural performances, traditional showcases and demonstration of silk weaving have been brought from various Isan communities to entertain visitors.

In 2011, there were more than 26 million visitors to the Northeast (+15.86% over 2010), more than 95 percent of whom were Thai tourists. In 2013, TAT expects the number of domestic trips will increase to 115.36 million trips and generate 537,800 million Baht.

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