The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the City of Sendai recently signed
a second Letter of Intent renewing continued cooperation between the two parties involved in terms of mutual tourism promotion.
TAT signed the first Letter of Intent for joint tourism
promotion with the city on 31 August, 2006. Since then, the two parties have engaged in a
series of activities held both in Thailand and Sendai. The letter covered a three-year term and before it
expired, the two sides agreed to renew the terms of the cooperation. The new letter will be effective until 31 March, 2012.
“On behalf of TAT, I’m delighted and honoured to make another important visit to Sendai and sign this Letter of Intent. This proves that our
cooperation for the last two years has been successful and fruitful, and therefore I have no hesitation in renewing our cooperation through the
signing of this new Letter of Intent,” said Mrs. Phornsiri Manoharn, Governor of
Sendai is a prominent city of Miyagi Prefecture and considered the administrative, economic and educational centre of Japan’s northeast.
For outbound tourism from Thailand, the City of Sendai has been promoting local culture, products and tourism during the annual “Sendai
Tohoku Japan Fair” at the Isetan Department Store in Bangkok every
To commemorate the 120th Anniversary of Thai-Japanese Diplomatic Relations, Sendai joined the international boat competition in Ayutthaya in
September 2007. The city also focused on promoting information about the city and the whole northeast region of Japan through
Sendai has a total population of 1,029,576 while the entire northeastern population is 9.47 million, or 7.4% of Japan’s population. Around 1.2
million Japanese visitors travel to Thailand annually (1,248,700 visitors in 2007 with an average length of stay for 7.54
days). For the first 7 months of 2008, Thailand received 734,388 Japanese visiting Thailand which is an
increase of 3 % over the same period of 2007, most of which come from big cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. TAT aims to attract more visitors from Sendai. Currently, Thailand welcomes
16,000 and 37,500 visitors from Sendai and Miyagi Prefecture, respectively.
The main problem remains the direct flight service. The Sendai City administration wants to encourage airlines to operate direct flights between
Sendai and Bangkok with negotiations currently ongoing with Thai Airways International and TAT. So far, there is
no regular direct service operating between the two cities. Most travellers have to go to Tokyo, Nagoya or Osaka to connect to a flight to Thailand.
Meanwhile, THAI will operate two charter flights during the New Year festival from Sendai on 30 December, 2008, and 3 January, 2009.
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