Bangkok, 03 January, 2020 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce that its ‘TAT Newsroom Blogger Thailand’ project returns for the fifth year with several significant changes, including a new focus on social media influencers.

Participants don’t need to have their own blog (website) to qualify but they must have at least one main social media account (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram) with a substantial number of followers.

Also different in 2020 is that there will be no online competition. Social influencers will be scouted and approached based on this year’s new rules and regulations. There will be one exclusive trip for social influencers outside of Thailand and two trips for those residing in Thailand.

The focus will be on the TAT’s Amazing Thailand ‘Open To The New Shades’ concept to promote new, unexpected experiences in Thailand. These can include, but are not limited to, responsible and sustainable tourism in line with TAT’s CSR direction to reduce tourism-related waste. Or community-based tourism to secondary destinations in line with TAT and Thai government’s policy to promote emerging destinations to even out seasonality and distribute income to local communities.

Rules and regulations for selection of social influencers

Six outstanding candidates will be offered a single point-to-point international return air fare and an exclusive six-day/five- night adventure to explore Bangkok, Satun and Songkhla in Thailand with trip dates tentatively scheduled for between the last week of March 2020 to the first week of April 2020.

The selection process for Group one includes
Step 1: The TAT Newsroom Team selects 30 social influencers outside of Thailand from its established database of travel, food and lifestyle social influencers. They include 10 from Asia-Pacific, 10 from America, Europe and Oceania, and 10 from the list of past winners in the last four years.

Step 2: The TAT Newsroom Team submits a selected list of social influencers for consideration by a panel of judges (Richard Barrow, who is generally regarded as Thailand’s preeminent travel blogger who is most active on Twitter (143k followers) @RichardBarrow; Tom Racette, a writer and editor with decades of experience working in Thailand’s travel industry, and TAT International PR Division Team) to select six candidates and four runners-up.

Step 3: The TAT Newsroom Team extends an invitation to selected social influencer to join the trip. In the event that selected candidates are unable to join, the team will first send invites to the runners-up, followed by competition winners from the last four years.

The following Terms & Conditions for selection also apply
*The social influencers must have a social media account (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) that has creative and constructive content about Thailand. Having also an own blog (website) is advantage;

*A blog (website) or social media account must be regularly updated with the last post dated not more than four months prior;

*Must have at least 20,000 followers on a social media account;

*Must have reasonable engagement (likes, comments and shares of posts);

*Can travel alone. The invitation is for one person only.

Ratings:
**The TAT Newsroom Team will rate all social media influencers based on two key criteria worth 25 points. An entrant’s qualification is worth up to 10 points. Content that is creative and constructive about Thailand is worth up to 15 points.

**The TAT’s International PR Team and a panel of two expert judges will rate all social influencers based on three key criteria, worth a total of 75 points. Whether the blog/social account has constructive content about Thailand is worth up to 25 points. Whether the blog/social account has content that promotes Thai tourism is worth up to 25 points. Finally, if the blog/social account has posts that promote Thailand’s good image are worth up to 25 points.

**Interested social influencers outside of Thailand can express their interest by sending their profile to mailtous@tatnews.org from 1 to 31 January 2020.

Group two: Social media influencers in Thailand
Trip one: Five outstanding candidates will be offered a single point-to-point domestic return airfare and an exclusive four-day/three-night trip to explore Phrae and Nan in Northern Thailand with trip dates tentatively scheduled for between the last week of January 2020 to the first week of February 2020.

Trip two: Five outstanding candidates will be offered a single point-to-point domestic return airfare and an exclusive four-day/three-night trip to explore Phatthalung and Songkhla in Southern Thailand with trip dates tentatively scheduled for between the last week of June 2020 to the first week of July 2020.

The selection process for Group two includes
Step 1: The TAT Newsroom Team selects three groups of social influencers in Thailand from its established database of travel, food and lifestyle social influencers. The first two groups (five to six each) include new or emerging social influencers, and the last group comprises winners of the last two years. The selection is based on the following rules and regulations.

*Each social influencer must have a blog (website) or a social media account (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) that also has creative and constructive content about Thailand;

*A blog (website) or social media account that is regularly updated with the last post dated not more than four months;

*Must have at least 5,000 followers for social media account (mostly new and emerging social influencers. Maybe less followers, but if the number keeps increasing will be taken into consideration);

*Must have reasonable engagement (likes, comments and shares on posts);

*Can travel alone. The invitation is for one person only.

Step 2: The TAT Newsroom Team submits the selected list of social influencers for consideration by the TAT International PR Division Team for approval.

Step 3: The TAT Newsroom Team extends an invitation to the select social influencer to joint trip. In an event that the selected candidates are unable to join the first trip, the team will recommend participants for the second trip.

Interested social influencers based in Thailand can express their interest by sending their profile to mailtous@tatnews.org from between 1 to 31 January 2020.