Japanese visitors increase

The ribbon-cutting ceremony of Thailand's booth at the Tourism Expo Japan 2019 in Osaka. (Photo by Karnjana Karnjanatawe)

The total number of Japanese tourists to Thailand will grow about 12% this year, reaching 1.8 million visitors from 1.6 million a year before, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Giving an interview in the Tourism Expo Japan 2019 in Osaka, TAT executive director for East Asia Titiporn Manenate said about 80% of the visitors are repeat travellers. "They are quality travellers. They love Thai culture and food. They want to have local experiences like learning how to weave cloth, to cook Thai food and to join handicraft workshops," she said.

By average, Japanese tourists spend about a weeklong vacation in the Kingdom. They spend about 6,000 baht a day excluding accommodation and transportation. The most popular destinations are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Ayutthaya.

TAT expects that the Tourism Expo in Osaka will help further promote Thai culture and tighten relationships with travel agents.

"We have joined the fair for 31 years to keep connections with present and new travel agents, because about 70% of Japanese tourists like to come to Thailand with travel agents," she said, adding that Thailand's booth also had workshops for individual visitors to try fruits or vegetables or create cotton bags with their names written in Thai.

Next year, TAT will have campaigns to focus on millennial travellers, female visitors and those who love international sporting events.

It plans to launch "My First Thailand" and "Oishi Thailand" campaigns to promote local experiences.

TAT also plans to highlight Thai food like pu phad phong kari (stir-fried crab in curry sauce) and massaman curry dishes in addition to popular food like som tam, tom yum and pad Thai.

"Millennial travellers like parties. When they graduate, we want them to come to Thailand for getting together. In the future, this group of people will be our repeat visitors," she said.

The agency also plans to work closer with social-media influencers in Japan to promote lesser-known provinces, especially border destinations like Chanthaburi, Chiang Rai and Nong Khai so travellers can use Thailand as a land base to cross to neighbouring countries.

TAT expects the total number of Japanese travellers to Thailand will increase to 2 million next year, generating 75 billion baht, up from 73 billion baht this year.


- THAI Smile has launched direct flights between Bangkok and Mandalay in Myanmar.

The service is available four times a week, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The flight will depart from Suvarnabhumi at 9.55am and arrive in Mandalay at 11.20am. The return flight will depart from Mandalay at 12.05pm and arrive in Bangkok at 2.35pm.

The service is an alternative to the existing services of Bangkok Airways and Thai AirAsia.

Visit http://thaismileair.com.

- Thai Airways has opened the Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge on the third floor of Concourse D in Suvarnabhumi.

The 2,089m² facility has two zones: the west zone for Royal First Class passengers and Royal Orchid Plus Platinum Card Members, and the east zone for Royal Silk Class passengers, Royal Orchid Plus Gold Card Members, and Star Alliance passengers.

Both zones are equipped with showers, mother-care rooms, and handicapped lavatories with an emergency switch. It is open every day from 5am-2am on the following day.

Visit thaiairways.com.


- X2 Kui Buri will host pet events every Saturday of November to encourage people to travel with their dogs and cats.

Located on Kui Buri beach in Prachuap Khiri Khan, the resort will host cooking classes for pets with the resort executive chef and guest chef on Nov 2 and 9.

Pet photography sessions by Warich Studio will be held on Nov 16 and 23.

Visit crosshotelsandresorts.com.

- Paresa Resorts in Phuket offers a "Honeymooner Paradise" package.

The offer includes a two-night stay at the Cliff Pool Villa, daily sparkling wine breakfast in bed for two, 60min oil massage & sunset bubble bath with two cocktails, a romantic Thai set dinner with a bottle of wine, and complimentary round-trip airport transfer with selection of soft drinks, beers and fruit, as well as Wi-Fi service.

Located on the west coast of Phuket, the luxurious resort offers villas and suites with private pools, spa, fitness centre and restaurants.

Package prices start at 42,999 baht per couple when staying before Oct 31, and 59,999 baht for stays from Nov 1 until Dec 26, and Jan 6 until April 30.

Visit paresaresorts.com.

Email karnjanak@bangkokpost.co.th if you have any comments to share.