TAT dreams of India

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) plans to promote Thailand in India's secondary cities, riding the rising trend of arrivals from that country.

Thailand recorded 1 million arrivals from India last year and the number is expected to reach 1.1 million this year.

Thailand ranks No.6 on India's top 10 preferred destinations. Outbound tourists from India are projected to hit 20 million this year, up from 18 million last year.

Among the Indian cities to be marketed are Coimbatore, Mangalore, and Pune, said Sansern Ngaorungsi, TAT deputy governor for Asia and the South Pacific.

Recently, the TAT and 15 tourism operators organised a road show in these cities and each operator was able to close five to six business deals with Indian tourism-related operators.

The TAT is targeting families, Mice travellers, and film crews. Some 90 foreign films shot in Thailand last year.

"Thailand has become a weekend destination for Indians," said Mr Sansern.

Thai Airways International (THAI) recently launched direct flights from New Delhi and Mumbai to Phuket, which is helping to drive tourism in that region.

Moreover, THAI's Smile airline will start service from Bangkok to Ahmedabad on March 31 with the goal of cashing in on the rush to Thailand.

Mumbai is an important market, so the TAT is organising pre-pageant activities for Miss Indian Princess contestants at Khao Yai and Bangkok this week.

"For tourists from New Delhi, we plan to continue to focus on the wedding segment," said Mr Sansern.

The TAT office in India distributed copies of the Wedding Paradise in Thailand brochure to wedding planners in New Delhi, he added.

Last year 150 Indian weddings were organised in Thailand. Couples spent 4 million baht on average, and income from the wedding market reached 280 million baht. This market is expected to expand at least 20% this year, he said.

Last week Thai tourism operators staffed 34 booths at the "Satte 2013" tourism show in New Delhi.

The TAT plans to conduct a road show in these second cities in the second half of the year.

About the author

Writer: Chadamas Chinmaneevong
Position: Reporter