Summer flings have long been a happy, occasional perk of travel.
But the Thai tourism authority is partnering with dating app Tinder to offer tour packages specifically for matchmaking purposes.
Though Thailand’s borders are technically open to foreign tourists – at least those who are willing to quarantine in a hotel room for two weeks and pay for a visa application – the “Single Journey” initiative is aimed at locals as a way to encourage domestic travel.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the country’s official travel body, is planning nine itineraries throughout the country and is launching with three pilot trips.
The first, which will take place on December 20, is a cruise along Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River for up to 100 singletons.
The day-long experience includes sightseeing, dinner and a talk from a Feng Shui expert “who will share tips on how to pay homage to Buddha and ask for blessings,” which should invariably give tongue-tied daters something to talk about.
The other two pilot experiences are a beachside party and concert in Phuket and a train trip to the Pa Sak Jolasid Dam in Lopburi, both in January 2021 and accommodating up to 50 people each. Bookings open on December 15 and can be made through the Sneaksdeal website (in Thai).
“The ‘Single Travel Route’ targets solo travellers who prefer to travel alone to various destinations in Thailand,” TAT Governor, Mr Yuthasak Supasorn, said in a press statement.
The “Single Journey” initiative is just the latest idea to stimulate domestic tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In November, Thai Airways – Thai Smile’s parent company – operated a one-off “flight to nowhere” that departed from and returned to Bangkok and flew over 99 sacred Buddhist sites across the country along the way.
Elsewhere, Taiwan’s EVA Airlines had a similar idea of its own.
The “Love Is In the Air” promotion has scheduled three flights – on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day – with on-board speed dating, followed by a romantic afternoon tea or candlelight dinner back on solid ground.
Just one question – if a couple makes a love match while on one of these trips, will the tourism board also sponsor their future honeymoon?