Having recorded 1.6 mn Indian arrivals in 2018, Tourism Authority of Thailand now expects to achieve 2 mn arrivals in 2019 whilst emphasising on niche segments from the market.
Women travellers, families and weddings are the niche segments that TAT is set to focus on in 2019. Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor—Marketing Communication, TAT, claimed that the board witnessed significant growth from India in 2018. “Last year we welcomed 1.6 million Indians to Thailand, a growth of around 12 per cent. The market growth was about 63 per cent in December 2018 after the visa fee waiver, which has now been extended till April 2019. This was done after the increase in numbers of arrivals, not only from India but from 20 more countries. The first quarter of 2019 is expected to record good numbers. We have targeted around 20 per cent increase from India this year and are hopeful of achieving two million arrivals by the end of this year,” he said.
Setting eyes on first-time travellers from India, Isra Stapanaseth, Director—New Delhi Office, TAT, shared, “We have big numbers coming from families and niche markets like weddings, leisure and even corporates. Going forward, we will be focusing on weddings too. We even have a microsite www.thailandfirstvisit.com for the consumer. Its app also offers information and activities, and is linked to our social media platforms used for publicity.”
Petsuwan added, “As we will be going niche, we will opt for potential segmentation including women travellers. As great explorers, Indian women are educated and have a strong purchasing power. The second group is family travellers as Indians love travelling with their families. Thirdly, we will concentrate on weddings and honeymoons.”
With these segments, TAT will not only be focusing on customary spots like Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya but also introduce new destinations. Petsuwan said, “We will not stop promoting these three destinations as they are extremely strong for Indians. Besides, we will offer new destinations such as Chiang Rai, Rayong, Trat, Hua Hin and Samut Songkhram.”
Petsuwan insisted that Thailand has the perfect infrastructure and hospitality to cater to Indian weddings and conferences. He shared that the increased air connectivity between India and Thailand will also aid in the growth of all these segments. “We work closely with at least 13 airlines flying between India and Thailand with around 307 weekly flights,” said Petsuwan.
TAT will organise the Amazing Thailand roadshow for Tier-II cities like Ahmedabad, Pune, Amritsar and Bhubaneswar.