Highlighting temples and other places of worship as well as bespoke tourism products while promoting the preservation of Thai culture and traditions.
Bangkok, Thailand – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced the launch of ‘WAT: Worship Activities Tradition’ spiritual tour project, highlighting spiritual tourism routes in 15 destinations known for sacred temples and other places of worship, as well as unique local communities.
H.E Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said, “Thailand is preparing to reopen its borders under the Bio-Circular-Green Economy or BCG model to revive the tourism industry creatively and in line with the current new normal tourism direction towards safe and sustainable travel. Several projects are being launched to stimulate more growth by focusing on tourists with high disposable income as well as the niche tourist markets. This is being done by linking tourism with high-yield services, including health and wellness, sports, culture, ecotourism and religion, which include this ‘WAT: Worship Activities Tradition’ initiative.”
Thailand boasts a rich and diverse collection of religious temples and tourism-related attractions that are considered a key part of Thailand’s cultural resources. The ‘WAT: Worship Activities Tradition’ project showcases these, while also helping promote the preservation of Thai culture, and spreading tourism-related income out into the local communities where the attractions are located.
Mr. Itthiphol Khunpluem, Minister of Culture, said, “The WAT: Worship Activities Tradition promotes Thai cultural preservation and helps local businesses generate income. Each specific route will reflect the uniqueness of that area in Thai history, its way of life, and the traditions of the local people.”
The ‘WAT: Worship Activities Tradition’ project features 15 destinations and bespoke tourism routes in and around Buri Ram, Chainat, Chaiyaphum, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Phanom, Nan, Phang Nga, Phetchaburi, Phichit, Phrae, Prachin Buri, Rayong, Saraburi, Songkhla and Surat Thani.
Mr. Anucha Nakasai, Minister to the Office of the Prime Minister, said, “The National Office of Buddhism or NOB is pleased to support the ‘WAT: Worship Activities Tradition’ project. The majority of Thai population follow Buddhism, which is also one of the key reasons that encourages Thais to travel across the country to visit Buddhist temples and places of worship.”
The NOB has made preparations at specific temples and places of worship along each route in the 15 destinations in accordance with the public health measures and safety standards of the Amazing Thailand Safety & Health Administration (SHA).
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a change in the travel behaviour towards safe and sustainable travel. To build confidence and safety for tourists, TAT has been introducing several tourism projects in response to the rise in the new normal travel behaviour, including all these 15 tourism routes under the ‘WAT: Worship Activities Tradition’ project that are centred on religion, faith, sacred temples, and places of worship.”
Other TAT projects in line with the BCG and Sustainable Development Goal concepts to encourage more travel around Thailand during the new normal include the ‘astronomy tours’ under collaboration with the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT); ‘Single Journey’ trips, ‘Power Spot’ by community-based tourism villages, responsible tourism, ‘workation’ working and vacationing, and Amazing Thailand SHA tour routes.