Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), along with Royal Thai Embassy and Radisson Blu Plaza Airport Hotel, recently organised one of the first physical events for the industry to celebrate the Thai festival of Loy Krathong. TAT has already been actively engaging with the trade through online events.
The Loy Krathong celebration by TAT in New Delhi saw in attendance around 100 guests, including diplomats, corporates, media and the who’s who of the travel trade. Speaking at the event, Vachirachai Sirisumpan, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi, shared that the purpose behind having a physical event after so long was to celebrate the festival of Loy Krathong with the travel fraternity. “Since people cannot travel to Thailand right now, we brought Thailand to Delhi for them. We have done many online events, but this was the first physical event since things have started to open in Delhi,” he said.
Talking about the situation in Thailand, he added, “Currently, the situation in Thailand is well in control and well-managed. There are still some new cases, and mostly it’s coming from outside, but the number is very small. We get only about 5-13 people infected each day. However, it would still take some time before Thailand would open, and that too will happen gradually, step by step. We need to make sure that when we open for tourists, everyone will be safe and can enjoy themselves. Hence, it would take a little longer, but I am keeping my fingers crossed and hope that things get better in Thailand, India and globally as well. However, it’s my personal speculation that maybe by beginning of next year, things would start getting easier, with easing of formalities for entering Thailand. I look forward to welcome our travel trade partners, as well as all the Indians to Thailand very soon.”
In the meantime, Sirisumpan said, their priority has been to keep Thailand as the top-of-the-mind destination for all Indians. “Therefore, we have been communicating both with our travel trade and all the Indian travellers that we continue to give them information on what’s happening in Thailand and we have also done online promotions in the past and we still continue to do the same, going with the situation both in Thailand and India. We will continue to do more events and activities, both online and physical, and we are working with all our partners in the travel industry in India,” he shared.
He also added, “We have worked with TRAVTALK on the Together Thailand campaign in August-September, where people were recalling good memories from Thailand. It was very successful and received good response. In the same way, we will keep connecting with all our partners. We had even done e-learning to keep our partners and all the frontline travel agents refreshed about Thailand. While this is what we are doing on the trade side, for consumers, we have a lot of online and offline communication and get people to engage with Thailand.”
Sharing that travel agents, too, are asking about when the destination would open, Sirisumpan said that his answer remains that Thailand will open gradually with precautions. “Some concern is there about the measures being taken in Thailand. Currently, whoever enters Thailand, whether Thai or an international visitor, has to go for a 14-day state quarantine, which is of concern for many agents, as they are looking for more flexibility in terms of formalities on arrival. However, I hope things will get better step by step,” he informed. In terms of connectivity to India, only repatriation flights based on travel bubbles.