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The newly formed Federation of Thai Tourism Associations (FETTA) aims to drive transformative change and strengthen tourism industry

Federation of Thai Tourism Associations (FETTA)

Seven local tourism associations have transitioned from the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) to form the Federation of Thai Tourism Associations (FETTA) which aims to drive transformative change in Thailand’s tourism industry.

In a bid to enhance operational flexibility and goal-oriented development, the Federation of Thai Tourism Associations (FETTA) has emerged as a key player in Thailand’s tourism landscape. Recently, seven local tourism associations have transitioned from the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) to join FETTA, propelling the federation towards transformative change.

FETTA’s strategies prioritize streamlined operations through a non-hierarchical structure, according to Adith Chairattananon, a FETTA representative and honorary secretary-general of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA). Chairattananon revealed that FETTA’s blueprint for future operations involves setting a core agenda and assigning proficient association leaders to spearhead specific issues.

For instance, the task of attracting Chinese tourists has been assigned to ATTA, while the Thai Hotels Association (THA) will oversee matters pertaining to the accommodation supply chain. FETTA’s structure addresses a challenge faced by member associations during their time with TCT: the one-vote-per-association rule, which gave equal voting power to small associations with just 10-20 operators compared to larger associations with over a thousand members.

With FETTA comprising only seven associations, in contrast to TCT’s massive membership exceeding a hundred, the stage is set for a more efficient workflow and enhanced cooperation among members. FETTA has set short-term goals, including organizing the Thailand International Tourism Conference before the year’s end. Additionally, the federation plans to propose policies to the new government, such as postponing higher minimum wages, reducing interest rates for tour operators, establishing a tourism fund, granting tax exemptions for hotel renovations, and facilitating visa-free travel for Thai tourists visiting Europe and the United States.

FETTA brings together a robust collective of associations, including ATTA, THA, the Thai Travel Agents Association, the Thai Tourism Promotion Association, the Professional Tourist Guide Association of Thailand, the Thai Transportation Operators Association, and the Association of Domestic Travel. THA alone boasts nearly a thousand hotel members nationwide, accounting for approximately 26% of total licensed hotels in Thailand, with a total room capacity of 160,000.

ATTA, with its 1,800 agent members, recorded an impressive 10 million foreign arrivals in Thailand in 2019, contributing over 500 billion baht in revenue. The Thai Travel Agents Association, responsible for outbound tourism, facilitated trips for 12 million Thai travelers to international destinations in the same year.

The formation of FETTA marks a collective effort to address the challenges faced by Thailand’s tourism industry. The federation’s primary objectives include enhancing competitiveness, working closely with the new government to meet sector requirements, and revitalizing the industry through sustainable growth strategies. FETTA’s entry into the tourism landscape brings renewed optimism and opportunities for the industry to thrive and adapt in an ever-changing global environment.

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