The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) on Monday launched its “Ultimate Thailand Explorers” competition, calling all internet savvy world travellers to enter the competition to get a free trip to Thailand and chance to win over US$ 15,000 cash and prizes.
TAT chairman Weerasak Kowsurat chairman and TAT Deputy Governor Surapol Savetaserani jointly held a press conference to announce the launch of the competition.
Weerasak said that TAT invited travelers from around the world to apply to become contestants in the Ultimate Thailand Explorers competition, an exciting concept in integrated online travel marketing.
Five finalist teams from across the globe will be provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: six expense-paid days exploring the sights and attractions in five of Thailand’s world famous holiday destinations: Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui, he said.
He said each day the teams of competitors must visit the many fantastic attractions and activities at their chosen destinations and then share their experiences with the online community by uploading videos, photos, and stories on various websites including, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.
Online voting for which team produces the most exciting and informative videos about the attractions and activities in their destination will determine who are the Ultimate Thailand Explorers, said Weerasak.
Applications are open to teams of two (friends, siblings, lovers, family members, colleagues) who must submit a short but entertaining audition video explaining why they want to travel to Thailand and how they will promote their preferred destination to the world.
After uploading their video to www.youtube.com, applicants must fill out an application that states their preferred destination and describes their social media and internet savvy.
From the pool of applicants, a panel of judges will select 25 semifinalists, five teams for each destination, whose audition videos will be posted on www.ultimatethailandexplorers.com for registered voters to select the five finalist teams.
Contest entry began September 1st and runs until October 15th. After selecting 25 semifinalists, online voting for the five finalists will run from October 19th until November 12th.
The five finalist teams competing in the Ultimate Thailand Explorers event will be flown to Bangkok for an event briefing on December 9th. The following day each team will be sent to their respective destinations, accompanied by their local volunteer liaisons to participate in the main event from December 10th to the 15th.
After a period of online voting between December 10th – January 8th, the team that receives the most votes from online registered voters will be named the Ultimate Thailand Explorers and will receive US$ 10,000 cash, a holiday package valued at US$ 3,000, round trip air tickets to Bangkok – Chiang Mai and other prizes.
Winning teams will be announced on January 8th and a press conference with the grand prize winners of the Ultimate Thailand Explorers competition will be held on February 2, 2010.
Mr Surapol said the competition began September 1 and after two weeks almost 45,000 surfers had visited the Ultimate Thailand Explorers website. As of September 11, there were 155 teams applying for the competition and TAT expected a total of 300 teams will compete in the event.