Elite Card eyes young Japanese
Thailand Privilege Card Co (TPC), the operator of Thailand Elite Card, has expanded its market to include younger members from Japan.
Ratchadawan Loetsilathong, acting president and vice-president for administrative and corporate affairs at TPC, said the company recently held roadshows in Fukuoka, Osaka and Tokyo to promote Thailand's tourism and investment opportunities.
"Our general sales and services agents, Daimaru Trading Co and ARC Life Co, have been expanding the market for Thailand Elite Card continuously," Ms Ratchadawan said. "Considering that Japan is among our top global markets, we will tap more young investors aged 35 to 40 years old, which is a large and emerging market in Japan."
She said the targeted group will add to the existing customer base, mostly retirees or those aged 60 and up.
The younger clients have shown their confidence in the Thai economy, Ms Ratchadawan said.
TPC also sees high potential in the long-stay segment after working with Japan's Long Stay Foundation, a government agency that assists Japanese retirees seeking a second home or looking to move overseas to spend their retirement.
Japan is the fifth-largest market for Thailand Elite Card membership, following China, Britain, the US and France. Other key markets are Australia, Bangladesh, Russia, Germany and Switzerland.
Wholly owned by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, TPC has 5,940 card members. From October 2017 to May 2018, the membership increased with an average of 127 new card members a month, representing 140% growth on the year-earlier period, due to the launch of new products.
TPC offers eight types of membership programmes, which vary by benefits and privileges and are aimed at middle- and upper-class foreigners.
Membership fees range from 500,000 to 2 million baht.
Targets include families from overseas countries, as well as foreigners who are keen to live and invest in Thailand.
Through a series of privileges offered to members, together with the different investment immigration schemes, these long-stay markets can contribute greater income to the economy than the general tourists who spend occasional short holidays in Thailand.