New Delhi, India, 17 January, 2020 – Thai travel and tourism companies attending one of India’s largest trade shows have hit an all-time high, a clear indicator of rapidly growing interest in one of Thailand’s top sources of visitor arrivals.
The turnout of 82 exhibitors at the South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) 2020 held between 8-10 January, 2020, at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida, New Delhi, was up from 70 exhibitors last year. The number of first-time participants also hit a record high of 20 exhibitors.
By category, the turnout comprised 36 hotels and resorts, 29 tour operators, four airlines and 13 others (theme park, water park, floating markets and cabaret shows).
This was Thailand’s 12th year of participation in SATTE, one of India’s largest and most important B2B networking events attended by more than 50,000 trade visitors.
The Thai pavilion included cultural activities and demonstrations of umbrella painting and mobile fish handicraft made from palm leaf. There were also daily Muay Thai (Thai boxing) shows at the main stage. These helped to reinforce the value and unique selling proposition of Thainess, hence attracting a lot of visitor interest.
The opening ceremony on 8 January, 2020, was attended by H.E. Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Thai Ambassador to New Delhi, Mr. Thosaphorn Sirisamphan, Chairman of TAT’s Board of Directors, and Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and South Pacific.
According to the TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and South Pacific, Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, “The World Tourism Organisation is projecting 25 million outbound Indian travellers this year. We are very happy to see Thailand remaining one of the most popular destinations, thanks to short travelling distances, value for money, great products to suit all demographic customer segments and, of course, our long-standing reputation for friendliness and hospitality.”
In 2018, Thailand hosted 1,596,772 Indian visitors, up 12.83% over 2017. In January-November 2019, the kingdom hosted 1,806,516 Indian visitors and is expecting to see more than 1,900,000 visitors when the final figures are released. Earnings are estimated at 84 billion Baht (+ 27%) for the January-November period.
Most Indian tourists like to travel to popular destinations; such as, Bangkok and Pattaya (Chon Buri), as well as tend to travel to new tourist destinations like Phuket, Chiang Mai, Samui (Surat Thani), Chiang Rai, Krabi, Ayutthaya, Ko Chang (Trat), etc. Travel for other special-interest purposes; such as, film-making, MICE and weddings/honeymoons is also on the rise.
Indians are also getting more adventurous and showing interest in activities; such as, diving, snorkelling, self-drive, big bikes and yachting. More Indians, especially young working women, are taking 3-4 weekend breaks a year and a couple of short-holidays, especially during festive seasons like Diwali.
Indians can receive visa-on-arrival facilities at Thailand’s international checkpoints. The Immigration Department is planning to introduce online visas for Indian citizens this year, which will make it even more convenient.
In August 2019, TAT undertook the Amazing Thailand Roadshow to the secondary cities of Ahmedabad, Pune, Amritsar and Bhubaneswar. The roadshow to the four emerging cities, all of which have been given international gateway status by the Indian government, is part of TAT’s strategy to tap the rich potential of India’s populous secondary cities.
Currently, TAT has two offices in India (New Delhi and Mumbai) and is also expanding marketing representation and services in secondary cities like Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Pune, etc.