A temple in Bangkok (Source: Xinhua)
Hanoi (VNA) - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Expedia Group have signed an agreement on collaboration, aiming to reach a 20 percent growth in tourism income in secondary provinces by 2020. 

This is the first memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the national tourism organisation and an online travel agent on tourism marketing and promotion collaboration. 

Earlier, the TAT signed an agreement with China's Alibaba to promote attractions in Thailand to Chinese tourists through Alibaba social media outlets. 

Under the agreement with Expedia Group, TAT predicts more foreign tourists travelling to Thailand and more Thais visiting attractions across the country. 

Both foreigners and locals should help boost income growth to communities in secondary provinces from 9-10 percent last year to 20 percent over the next two years.

TAT is promoting 55 secondary provinces under its campaign called Amazing Thailand Go Local. Some of Thailand's secondary cities are Chiang Rai, Koh Lipe, Mae Hong Son, Trang and Trat. 

As part of the MoU, the collaboration will include sharing of traveller insights and trends and boosting the TAT's capabilities to plan effective promotional campaigns, thus attracting more tourists and encouraging longer stays in Thailand.

In addition, Expedia Group will launch key programmes on destination marketing and skills transfer to the local hospitality industry in secondary cities. Workshops for local hotel partners will be included, along with accelerated skills development and building revenue and hotel management capabilities among local small- and medium-sized accommodations. 

Meanwhile, JD.com, a leading Chinese e-commerce company, is looking for as many Thai products as possible to sell on its online platform. 

The top six priority items for Chinese buyers are snacks, beverages, textiles, frozen food, pet care products and beauty products. 

JD.com debuted the JDThai platform this June, offering 400 Thai items. 

In September last year, JD.com announced an aggregate investment of up to 500 million USD with Central Group to establish two joint ventures in Thailand covering e-commerce and fintech services. Under the terms of the agreement, half of the investment will come from Central Group.

The company has 300 million active customers via its e-commerce platform and 170,000 stores on its platform. 

JD.com sales grew by 30 percent last year to 56 billion USD, faster than retailers in the US market. -VNA