Thai Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul visited Mumbai to announce 2015’s astounding tourist figures and celebrate with local travel agents, wedding planners, Bollywood stakeholders and corporates
As Thailand’s sixth largest market globally in 2015, India obviously a place of importance to Thailand tourism stakeholders. Additionally, India has displayed a steady tourist flow and promising year-on-year increase in arrivals over the last two decades.
However to warrant a visit from the destination Minister for tourism two years consecutively, it is obvious India must be a high-potential source market and cause for attention. Her Excellency Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s Minister for Tourism & Sports put India’s significance into perspective when she said, “We welcomed 1.06 million Indian travelers to Thailand during 2015, putting India at sixth position globally, up from seventh position last year. Indians spent 47,827 million baht in Thailand last year. I must thank you – our friends in the travel trade, the wedding planners who weave dreams in Thailand, Bollywood producers who tempt people to return to Thailand and corporates who reward employees with incentive travel to Thailand – for your support, without which this amazing milestone would not be possible. I count on your support in the years to come too – we see India as having the capacity to double this figure by 2022.”
Thailand is the perfect holiday destination for Indian travelers being short haul, with an extremely simple and convenient visa process. With flights from all the metros and visa processing centres in most key cities, Thailand offers Indians a hassle-free getaway. Thailand also offers amazing value for money, which Indians look for at every price point. Moreover the variety of flavours, sights and tourist experiences across Thailand have Indian travelers returning year-on-year, enticed by new and unseen parts of Thailand.
HE added, “We look forward to welcoming those of you who have visited Thailand once again in the years to come. If you have seen Bangkok and Pattaya; Phuket, the Koh Samui archipelago Chiang Mai & Chaing Rai await you. If you have already seen those, Kanchanaburi, Koh Chang, Koh Tao and Koh Lanta await you. If you have seen all of those then Thailand’s amazing North East is an amazing treasure that you must explore. Just as India offers you different flavours, sights, sounds, customs and traditions at every state border; Thailand too offers you a new world in every new province. I hope that we are able to share all of our treasures with you over time.”
Thailand was once seen only as a budget-seekers paradise in India, frequented only by groups on packaged holidays. But over the last 4 years, Thailand has earned repute as a luxury-seekers haven with India’s golf-enthusiasts flocking to its world-class 18-hole golf courses, others simply enjoying its world-renowned service at 5-star ++ hotels boasting either butler service or private islands or rooftop residences, complete with yacht transfers or helicopter transfers and other indulgences that only Thailand can put within reach. Still other luxury-seekers jet set to Thailand over weekends for yacht breaks or roadtrips across its scenic landscapes and countless of their friends’ and family members’ weddings and other celebrations. Culinary enthusiasts return just for the food; sometimes to learn the art of Thai cuisine. India’s young and adventurous flock to Thailand to zipline, rock-climb, scuba dive, bungee jump, island-hop, party and much more. Of late, families are seeing Thailand as a destination for a good dose of family bonding at theme parks like Cartoon Network, Vana Nava and Sea World.
“It gives me immense joy to say that India has successfully shown a migration from just bulk of tourist numbers to a better quality of tourist experience and without having ever slowed down in growth of arrivals. I can only encourage you to keep it up as 2016 picks up pace,” concluded Her Excellency.
Thailand has set a target of 8% increase in arrivals for 2016.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s offices in Mumbai and Delhi will be targeting specific quality-focussed segments such as getaways for groups of women, family holidays, leisurely breaks for senior citizens, enriching vacations for youngsters and of course niches like golfers, divers and road-trippers.