More than 200 representatives from 106 companies of the Thai tourism private sector attended a special focus group session organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently to share trends and insights on the rapidly growing markets of India, Vietnam and the Islamic world – all markets being within three to four hours flying time to Thailand, have large middle-class populations with strong purchasing power and different seasonality patterns.
The Indian market is growing significantly thanks to increasing airline links with India’s secondary cities. In January – October 2018, visitors from India to Thailand totalled 1.28 million which is an increase of 11.23% over the same period the previous year.
For the Indian market, Isra Stapanaseth, Director of the TAT New Delhi Office and Cholada Siddhivarn, Director of the TAT Mumbai Office said that the sheer geographical, ethnic and cultural diversity of India itself was a huge opportunity because of the numerous holidays celebrated by each of the different states and religious groups. They noted that the country also had 600 million young people with many of them having both the money and desire to travel.
The session at the Lancaster Hotel was opened by Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and South Pacific market, who noted the importance of these key source markets in diversifying Thailand’s visitor arrivals and meeting the targets in terms of both growth and expenditure.
Chattan said, “Although there are many similarities in terms of market size and potential, they are all different in terms of customer requirements, demographics and strategies. Hence, we felt it would be useful to organise a forum to help many of the Thai hoteliers and tour operators to better understand both the opportunities and challenges.”
Three private-sector experts invited to share their insights were Preecha Champi, General Manager, Destination Siam Group (Indian market), Sanya Saengboon, General Manager, Al Meroz Bangkok (the Muslim market, especially from Indonesia and Malaysia) and Anantachai Wannaphan, Deputy Marketing Manager, Vietjet Air (Vietnamese market).