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Tourism Authority of Thailand

TAT to unveil campaign to boost stopover visitors to Thailand

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), together with a broad range of industry alliance partners, is to launch a seven-month campaign to attract more transit tourists and stopover visitors to Bangkok.

To be run under the brand-name “Amazing Thailand Stopover”, the campaign will be launched at the ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade show, in March 2011, and continue until September 2011.

It is designed to increase the attraction of stopping over in Bangkok as a transit hub and help “convert” today’s stopover tourists into tomorrow’s extended-stay tourists. It will also help enhance the awareness and exposure of the mainstream global tourism campaign “Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You”.

TAT is finalising the details of the campaign with prospective alliance partners; such as, Thai Airways International, Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), Thai Hotels Association (THA), Thailand Restaurant Association, Bangkok Metropolitan Administrative, Thailand Convention Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), the State Railway of Thailand, Airport Rail Link, and Bangkok Transit System (BTS).

Full details of the campaign and its various components will be announced at an official signing ceremony at the ITB Berlin in early March.

Long known as an aviation hub of Asia, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport was served by 94 scheduled passenger airlines in 2010. Transit passengers through the airport totalled 1.53 million, up 5.64% over 2009.

Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said, “We are hoping to attract at least 10% of these total transit passengers to take advantage of our special campaign. If they can be persuaded to take ‘appetiser’ tours of Thailand, they could be enticed to return for a more extended ‘main course’ visit to Thailand later.”

Although TAT, in cooperation with ATTA, the Airports of Thailand, and other partners has offered stopover tours before, those were designed mainly for those transiting at Bangkok Airport for less than 24 hours.

Technically, those do not qualify to be included in the annual tally of visitor arrivals because they do not meet the global definition standard of a ‘tourist’, which requires a stay of a minimum of 24 hours.

The new campaign will be designed to offer longer-stay stopover packages and help those who plan to change flights at Bangkok Airport build the packages into their journey right from the outset.

Mr Suraphon said, “For example, we know that many Indian families have children studying in Australia. That generates a lot of VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) traffic in both directions. Certainly, that is an opportunity waiting to be tapped.”

He said that there were other target market segments with strong potential, such as, business travellers, MICE delegates, and even wedding parties.

The main campaign will comprise:
Special tour packages targeted at specific market segments. These will be designed to meet the needs and time-availability patterns, and also include special prices of tour packages, special room rates, etc.

Complimentary special offers as part of a value-added incentive to tour operators and passengers, in cooperation with alliance partners

Major advertising and public relations activities to promote and publicise the campaign

Market research shows that citizens of the following 44 countries are the top transit passengers through Bangkok Airport:

  • East Asia: Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan
  • ASEAN: Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, India, Australia, Lao PDR
  • Europe: France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, Lithuania, Finland, Poland, Iran, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, United Kingdom, Norway, German, Portugal, Spain
  • America: USA, Canada, Peru, Columbia.

Mr Suraphon said, “This campaign is a major enhancement over our past offers. Although our national airline, Thai Airways International is our preferred partner, we also hope to work closely with the many other airlines, especially the Star Alliance members, to attract more stopover visitors to Bangkok.”

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