Thailand has recently witnessed a growth of 1.1 million tourists from India. With a further increase of ten per cent forecasted for 2018, revenue is expected to rise 14 per cent compared to the previous year. According to numbers released by the Department of Tourism, Thailand welcomed around 800,000 Indians to its shores up until July 2017; a growth of 16 per cent compared to the same period in 2016.
These Indian tourists typically come from places such as Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and the North. Within this growing demographic, women travellers have been proven to be the big spenders; the group has also shown a nine per cent increase in their growth rate when compared to male travellers. Bangalore contributes ten percent of all Indian arrivals to Thailand, with people in Bangalore keen on trying new experiences such as diving, golfing and food tasting.
Since the launch of direct flights from Kochi in 2016, Thailand has seen sustainable growth, which is expected continue in the future; further promotion projects are also in the pipeline. In a recent roundtable discussion, Srisuda Wanapinyosak, who is the Deputy of Governor Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) for International Marketing of Asia and the South Pacific, outlined the recent successes and revealed new plans to welcome more Indians to the country.
“For the first timers, we are promoting Bangkok, Koh Samui, Phuket, Chiang Mai and for frequent travellers, we are promoting Krabi for beach activities. From the north side, we are promoting Chiang Rai and Lampang. The North Eastern part of the country has its own language, food and way of living. We are also promoting Korat and Khon Kaen from the North East part of Thailand”, said Srisuda Wanapinyosak.
“For 2018, our focus will be on local Thai cuisine and international gastronomy. The TAT is also focusing on the family segment as Thailand is the best place for family celebrations and reunions. It is showcasing segments like nightlife and incentive.
As for film tourism, we have a very good policy for TV shows or programmes like game shows, talk shows and fashion shows.
Thailand can also be a destination for Thai boxing, marathons and cycling. Local tours are one of the key products that we will promote.”
In August 2017, the TAT organized a two-city roadshow in the Indian cities of Kochi and Bangalore to showcase unexplored destinations such Hua Hin and Cha-Am. TAT also introduced special mobile applications like ‘FamilyFun’ and ‘Women’s Journey’. The next campaign is set to focus on incentives. TAT are planning to have one or two marketing representatives in other cities.