Central Pattana Plc (CPN), a leading retail and property developer, is set to invest 600 million baht in a partnership with the iconic Pokémon brand for the “The Great Celebration 2024” initiative.
This promotional event, spanning from November 1st, 2023 to January 7th, 2024, is designed to boost visitor numbers to CPN malls throughout Thailand by an estimated 25-30%. It is primarily geared towards attracting weekend tourists from countries including South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
CPN’s chief marketing officer, Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana, commented on the expected revival in Thailand’s tourist sector, stating, “Thailand’s tourism industry is expected to see a gradual improvement in the last quarter of the year, thanks to the country’s free visa policy, improved logistics, and an increase in the number of flights.”
Projections by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) anticipate a minimum of 25 million international visitors this year. Current data suggests that 19 million tourists have visited, contributing to an impressive 800 billion baht in revenue, aligning with governmental expectations.
The majority of these tourists hail from Malaysia (with 3 million visitors), followed by China (2.3 million), South Korea and India (each accounting for 1 million), and Russia (960,000).
Addressing concerns over a recent mall shooting, Mr Nattakit remarked, “The shooting incident on Tuesday was a force majeure and it could happen anywhere around the world. It was fortunate the incident was swiftly tackled. For us, we are fully committed to our customer safety and have implemented rigorous security measures to ensure safety, including security checkpoints at shopping centre entrances and the training of security teams stationed throughout the premises.”
He further emphasized CPN’s dedication to patron safety, noting, “We have not seen any decline in customer traffic at our complexes, but we will closely monitor the situation.” Mr Nattakit then highlighted that CPN plans to invigorate the economic and tourism sectors in the coming quarter, announcing an increase in their marketing budget to 600 million baht from last year’s 500 million baht.
In terms of offerings, he expressed excitement about Pokémon-themed attractions exclusive to CPN malls. One of the highlights is a massive 15-metre inflatable Pikachu placed conspicuously at CentralWorld, equivalent in height to a three-floor structure. He is optimistic about Thailand solidifying its reputation as a prime vacation spot for international tourists.
In addition to CPN’s efforts, Mr Nattakit suggested that government-initiated incentives, like the “Shop Dee Mee Khuen” tax benefit and the “We Travel Together” hotel discount program, would further benefit Thailand’s citizens.
Echoing the excitement, Susumu Fukunaga from The Pokémon Co. shared, “Pokémon which has collaborated with CPN several times in the past, hopes that this partnership would generate excitement and anticipation, offering happiness and unforgettable experiences during the year-end festive season.”