After Denmark and Norway the Thai delegation organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand visited, last Thursday, Sweden which is the leader in terms of arrivals among the Nordic markets.
Swedish market is by far the most productive Scandinavian market for Thailand’s tourism. In 2014 the tourism revenue from the Swedish market reached the 631 million Euro according to Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, Executive Director of TAT for EMEA region. Visitors from Sweden have an average length of stay of 19.48 days which is the highest among all nationalities, while Thailand’s overall average was 9.8 days. The average daily expenditure of Swedish visitors was more than 101 Euro. Despite that, Swedish are not the biggest spenders. They are behind Norwegians who are considered more “quality” tourists. Out of the 625,316 arrivals in 2014 from the Scandinavian countries 320,617 were from Sweden.
Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, Executive Director of TAT for EMEA region presents Thailand to the Norwegian buyers.
The bookings for 2016 already present a significant increase of +8% for winter and +10% for the summer period according to Ticket.se, the biggest ticketing agents in Sweden. This is the highest increase in bookings for Thailand for the last 17 years!
Among the top 10 destinations for the winter trips of Swedish in 2016 are Bangkok in the second position with +23% increase, Phuket in the third position with +17% and Krabi in the fifth position with +50% increase!
According to Ticket.se, 86% of Swedish travelers consider food as the most important element of their trips and Thailand is third in their list as a favorite gastronomy destination behind Italy and Greece!
Mr Michael Kapil Marketing Director and Mrs Karin Starkman Ahlstedt PR Director of Ticket.se present to the Thai buyers the trends of the Swedish market according to the survey they conduct two times per year.
To the development of the Swedish and Nordic markets also contributes the regional office of TAT in Nordic countries which is based in Stockholm. According to its Director Mrs. Pakkanan Winijchai TAT’s office organized 15 roadshows in its 12 years of presence in the market as well as a lot of co-advertising campaigns with the tour operators, branding advertising in the markets and support by organizing or supporting various cultural and gastronomic events. It worth to mention that 80% of the Nordic travelers to Thailand are repeaters as Mrs Pakkanan stressed.
One of the most popular hotels for Swedish travelers in Bangkok is Rembrandt Hotel since Mr Eric Hallin the Director of the hotel has a lot of connections in the market as Swedish himself and the hotel was hosting SAS crew for 22 years until last March when the airline stopped flying to Bangkok as Mrs. Kamolnuch Bhiromsawad Director of Sales & Marketing mentioned. So the messages from the tour operators she met were very positive.
Swedish market for Centara Hotels & Resorts is very important and this is why since 1st of May the company decided to open a representation office in Stockholm as Mr. Johan Ostrom, Sales Manager for Nordic Countries mentioned. It is much different if you deal with the Nordic markets from a distance, he said. Each market has its special characteristics as Mr Ostrom noticed. Thailand is a very good value for money destination for Nordics and as Mr Ostrom said travel agents started to receive more requests for Pattaya than before since the image of the destination becomes more appealing to families due to the efforts of TAT and the development of many luxury hotel brands in the destination.
Mr Utane Boonyong, Sales Manager of Buri Beach Resort on the island of Koh Phangan was presenting the island as a new and appealing destination for Scandinavians. Not many Scandinavians travelers know yet the island but as Mr Utane mentioned the travel agents who met showed interest due to the fact that Koh Samui and Surat Thani are near and they have airport to support. Joining the full moon parties, doing scuba diving or visiting the waterfall and the temple are among the advantages of the island for the tourists.
According to Mr Supanit Vimooktanon, Deputy Managing Director of Operation & Marketing for MBK Hotel & Tourism, the Swedish market is stable for Thailand but the destinations they go have been changed because they already know Thailand pretty well and now they are looking for new destinations for them in the country, like Krabi. They like safe and convenient destinations for their kids since 60-65% of the Swedish travelers are families with children. More trips for honeymoon and families are expected for 2016 as Mr Supanit mentioned.
Today the delegation is in London attending World Travel Market.