Bangkok – The government of Thailand has launched a travel campaign for singles in collaboration with the dating app Tinder, with the aim of encouraging domestic tourism in light of the loss of foreign visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first pilot trip is free for 100 single Thai people and is scheduled for Sunday, according to the campaign launched this week by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
This initial route will feature a cruise along the Chao Phraya River, which runs through Bangkok, taking in nine temples and hosted by a fortune teller and Feng Shui expert who will share Buddhist advice and blessings.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed travel behavior and necessitates that we think ‘out-of-the-box’. The ‘Single Travel Route’ targets solo travelers who prefer to travel alone to various destinations in Thailand,” said TAT governor Yuthasak Pupasorn.
The government department said it plans to open nine travel routes, including in popular destinations such as Chiang Mai, Phuket, and the former capital of Ayutthaya.
The second and third trips, reserved for 50 people each, will take place on Jan. 9 in Phuket and Jan. 23 on a train to a dam for dinner in Lop Buri.
To be one of those selected for these trips, users can use the Tinder app – one of the sponsors of the program – together with Thai Smile Airways, the Grand Pearl Cruise company, and the State Railway of Thailand, or through Facebook.
The campaign joins other initiatives promoted by the authorities to encourage domestic tourism by subsidizing hotel and travel rates and keeping an industry that represents 12-20 percent of the GDP afloat.
Thailand, one of the main tourist destinations in Southeast Asia and which has kept its borders practically closed to tourists since March, received 6.6 million tourists until July, compared to more than 23 million who arrived in the same period of 2019.