Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for the Marketing Communications, delivered the following speech at the Amazing Thailand Product Presentation at SATTE 2019, held on Tuesday, 15 January 2019, from 11.45-12.15 Hrs., at Shangri-La Eros Hotel, New Delhi.
Namaste, Sawasdee khrap and good morning,
On behalf of the Thai tourism industry, it is always a pleasure to be back in India, a country which we in Thailand share historic heritage and culture.
I would like to extend to you a very warm welcome to this special event today and thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to share with you the latest Thai tourism situation and update you on new destinations.
Thai Tourism Situation
You may be wondering how the Thai tourism industry is going. The preliminary figure from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports shows that in 2018, Thailand welcomed 38.1 million international visitors, up by 7.2 percent over the same period of the previous year, generating an estimated 4.4 trillion Rupees in tourism revenue or up by 9 percent.
To ensure that Thailand is a world famous destination for all travellers, the latest Mastercard GDCI has ranked Bangkok as the number one destination in terms of international overnight visitors for the third consecutive year, with Phuket and Pattaya also in the global top 20 at twelfth and eighteenth, respectively.
Bangkok is also basking in the limelight of being ranked the third city in dollars spent on food and beverage and ranked the sixth in the shopping category.
Thailand has emerged as the most popular tourist destination for Indian travellers. We have seen growth in the number of Indian travelers and 2018 was a phenomenal year for us as the preliminary figure from January to November of Indian visitors shows a growth of 12 percent, taking the figure to 1.42 million.
Due to the latest exemption of the visa-on-arrival fee, Thailand has welcomed 143 thousand applicants from Indian visitor which shows a growth of 63% compared to December 2017.
Last week, the Thai government recently extended the exemption of the visa-on-arrival fee for citizens of 20 countries and one territory including Indian, from January 14th to April 30th 2019 in order to attract foreign tourists during Chinese New Year and the popular Songkran Festival.
In 2017, repeat visitors comprised 58 percent of the total, the average daily expenditure was 12,500 Rupees, and the average length of stay was 7.45 days.
Furthermore, the ratio of visitors travelling with groups and independently was 31:69.
Today, a new generation of experienced, well-heeled and Internet-savvy Indian travellers are venturing to new destinations; such as, Chiang Rai, Rayong, Trat, Hua Hin and Samut Songkhram.
International Marketing Direction and Communications
This year, TAT will use tourism to promote sustainable development with the community as the ultimate beneficiary. We believe this will pave the way for Thailand to be a preferred destination among international visitors.
On the communications side, the concept “Amazing Thailand Open to the New Shades” will be carried forward in 2019 to invite the audience to immerse themselves in Thai Unique Local Experiences unlike anywhere in the world.
Experience the culture that changes over time, but always remains completely Thai. Learn from the local people and open up the minds of visitors physically, mentally and spiritually by offering “The Millions of Hidden Shades”….
The growing sophistication and maturity of the Indian traveller has given us an enormous opportunity to promote our emerging range of niche-market products. Thailand has a variety of destinations to offer, especially when considering the costs.
First-time travellers: Our offices here have launched a website http://thailandfirstvisit.com/ to be a helping tool for anyone who plans to visit Thailand for the very first time. From the glorious ruins of ancient cities to the excitement of dynamic modern Bangkok, from the lush forested hills of the North to the white sandy beaches and tropical islands of the South, from sporting activities to fun-filled entertainment.
Thailand boasts world-class products; such as, hotels, resorts, beaches, theme parks, spas, shopping options and internationally acclaimed golf courses; all supported by the wonderful and warm Thai hospitality.
Women travellers: Thailand’s golden beaches and city delights have attracted millions of women travellers with numbers increasing by the year. Bangkok, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai are the famous destinations for women travellers. From the moment you step off the plane, you will notice that Thailand is a wonderful place for women travellers.
A wide range of tailored products and services from accommodation, transport to shopping, and everything in between is on hand, so that when you wave goodbye to the ‘Land of Smiles’, it is really a ‘see you again soon’.
For any information, special deals, discounts and privileges in Thailand for women travellers, please visit our website https://womensjourney.tourismthailand.org/
Luxury travellers: For those seeking a tailored luxury experience, no one does hospitality like the Land of Smiles. Friendly personal service is a staple of Thai culture, so luxury tourism providers can find other ways to customise an unforgettable experience in Thailand, from a private jet to private luxury carriages or well-equipped and prestigious yachts, from private butlers who help with everything from unpacking to cocktail parties, to penthouse suites packed with the best amenities, to simply expediting immigration and customs for a faster, stress-free start and end to your holiday.
Weddings & Honeymoons: It has now become a trend amongst high net worth Indians to celebrate special occasions out of the country. Thailand with its proximity, comfort level, and affordable luxury is becoming popular for weddings and honeymoons. Last year, we estimated that almost 300 Indian destination weddings were held in Thailand. With its natural beauty, luxury hotels, and world-famous hospitality, Thailand continues to be the most desired foreign country for Indian couples to tie the knot.
Now, I would like to share the moment of joy and love of an Indian couple who just got married in Thailand. A commercial idea is not needed because the testimonial from the bride and groom in this video will show you how amazing it is when you plan to do a wedding in Thailand…
—————-Wedding Video (3 minutes.)— ——————-
The TAT New Delhi Office has created a special website to provide couples, wedding organisers, and travel agents in India with useful information for planning a wedding. The content has been curated by persons of Indian origin residing in Thailand and who have years of experience organising Indian weddings in Thailand. You will find information for weddings and honeymoons in Thailand on the website http://www.myweddinginthailand.com/
Family Travel: Thailand has a wide variety of tourism resources, attractions, activities, infrastructure, hospitality and services that fit all age groups.The nature-inspired city of Samut Songkhram is also a perfect destination for families. Ban Bang Phlap (บ้านบางพลับ) Community Centre is the main attraction.
Here, families can experience the way of life of the local Thai people living in traditional teak houses set among fruit orchards and exploring the surrounding orchards on foot or by bicycle. Enjoy fresh fruits and fresh air, learn how to plant organic fruits, produce organic fertiliser and ferment sweet fruits.
Bilateral airline capacity is at an all-time high with 307 weekly flights between Thailand and 15 major cities in India by 13 airlines: Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Air India, Thai Smile, Bhutan Airlines, Druk Air, Jet Airways, Air Asia, Spice Jet, Thai Lion Air, Indigo, Nok Scoot and GoAir.
We expect airline connectivity to grow even further this year when the U-Tapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport, which is very close to Pattaya, starts attracting more attention from Indian airlines. U-Tapao is a former naval base with superb aviation infrastructure. The Airport is now being served by airlines; such as, AirAsia, Bangkok Airways and Thai Lion Air on the domestic sectors.
In addition, it has a number of charter flights operating from international as well. Visitors have easier access to the Eastern Seaboard region destinations of Pattaya, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat.
Before I leave this stage, I would like to thank you all for sharing your valuable time with us. Let me assure you all that we value our Indian visitors and are doing everything possible to ensure that they have an enjoyable and pleasant stay in Thailand.
Our offices here in New Delhi and Mumbai will work closely with you to seek your support as well as collaborate with you in marketing and communications. We believe it will help your business grow in the right direction. Thank you again for being our strategic partners in this effort.