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Thailand targets sustainable growth in tourism with focus on Indian market at SATTE 2024

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TAT emphasizes sustainable tourism from India, aiming for 80 billion Baht revenue with visa waivers and enhanced connectivity.

NEW DELHI, INDIA – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) shines the spotlight on Thailand’s diverse tourism offerings towards sustainability at the Amazing Thailand Media Briefing as part of its 15th participation in South Asia’s Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) 2024.

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Ms. Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said “I am determined to elevate Thailand to be a quality and safe destination that delivers a valuable experience to our visitors from India through Thailand’s Soft Powers and promotes Thailand to be an all-year-round destination.”

India is one of Thailand’s most important visitor markets. Last year, the number of Indian travellers totalled 1.62 million, making it the fourth largest market. Revenue generated from Indian travellers’ spending amounted to over 63 billion Baht in 2023. This year, as of 19 February, India ranked fifth with 262,986 arrivals.

To inspire Indian travellers to visit Thailand, the Thai government waives tourist visas for Indian citizens, effective from 10 November, last year, to 10 May, this year, and is also working to boost connectivity between the two countries.

For this year, TAT has set a target of 80 billion Baht in revenue from about 1.74 million Indian travellers to Thailand.

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Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT Governor, said “Key strategies to realise our targets will be subsidy schemes for incentive, wedding, and celebration groups. Joint promotions with airlines and travel agents will be offered for repeat visitors and golfers. Just as importantly, we will continue to strengthen our presence through India’s leading shows including the Outbound Travel Mart in Mumbai, and this SATTE in New Delhi.”

TAT’s marketing activities will aim at current segments, including family, millennials, weddings and celebrations, golfers, luxury, and incentive groups. Specific initiatives will be introduced for new segments, such as, senior citizens, women travellers, rejuvenating tours, and adventure sports. Gen Z and LGBTQIA+ are also earmarked as potential segments.

Aside from well-established destinations like Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya, TAT is promoting Hua Hin, a family, golf and wellness destination; Kanchanaburi for its abundant natural and historical attractions, and Khao Yai, which is known for its national park, wineries, and many family and sport activities.

In terms of new tourism offering, TAT has listed EmSphere shopping mall, Thai Bus Food Tour and Pruek dining cruise in Bangkok; three UNESCO sites in Nakhon Ratchasima; and Andamanda Phuket waterpark and Carnival Magic theme park in Phuket.

For Health and Wellness enthusiasts, the choices are RVX Sampran in Nakhon Pathom, Thann Wellness in Ayutthaya, and La Vita Sana in Khao Lak, Phang-nga. Meanwhile, Cape Fahn in Samui, Four Seasons in Bangkok, Banyan Tree in Krabi, Anantara Koh Yao Yai present most-recent options for weddings and celebrations.

To facilitate air travellers, the Airports of Thailand (AOT) has increased the annual passenger handling capacity at Suvarnabhumi Airport to 60 million from 45 million with the September-2023 opening of the Midfield Satellite Building (SAT-1). Also last year, Chiang Mai International Airport has been operational 24/7 since November. In addition, AOT plans to expand Phuket International Airport, while conducting a feasibility study on a new airport in Phang-nga.

Interprovincial travel is set to be more convenient with two new motorway projects – the M6 motorway, connecting to Nakhon Ratchasima, and the M81 motorway, connecting to Kanchanaburi – slated to be ready for public use in 2025.

TAT’s activity in India aligns with our “PASS strategy” to drive Thailand’s tourism towards High-Value and Sustainability. This encompasses ‘Partnership 360’ efforts, digital transformation, subculture movement, and sustainable practices,” Ms. Thapanee said.

In 2023, Thailand welcomed over 28 million foreign visitors, generating 1.2 trillion Baht in revenue. The top five visitor markets by the number of arrivals were Malaysia, China, South Korea, India, and Russia.

From 1 January – 19 February 2024, Thailand recorded 5.32 million foreign arrivals, generating over 254 billion Baht. The top five markets were China, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea, and India. For the entire year, TAT has set an overall revenue target of 3 trillion Baht, comprising 1.92 trillion Baht from international tourism and 1.08 trillion Baht from domestic tourism.

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