Thursday, 21st August 2008
Source : Tourism Authority of Thailand China, the Middle East and India continue to be the three main emerging markets for Thailand this year.
These three emerging markets have recently gained the attention of tourism promoters, by recording steady growth during the past years. Marketing and sales promoting activities are therefore critical in encouraging and maintaining long-term growth.
“With the oil prices still negatively affecting the global tourism industry, TAT has shifted its plan to focus more on potential Asian countries, which include, among others, long established markets like Malaysia, Japan and Korea — currently the first, second and third largest markets for Thailand’s tourism industry, respectively.
Meanwhile emerging markets like China, the Middle East and India are not to be underestimated. Within a couple of years China has become a major tourism market for Thailand, with visitors reaching the one million mark for the first time last year. India and the Middle East are also showing signs of considerable growth in the years to come,” according to Mrs. Phornsiri Manoharn, Governor of TAT.
TAT will maintain its intensive promotion campaign in these three markets throughout 2008, hoping to attract more visitors, in order to compensate for the missed opportunities from long-haul countries due to the surge in oil prices that has affected the air travel business.
As China is expected to become Thailand’s No. 1 market in three years, several campaigns are already ongoing to encourage more travel from that country. Expecting to welcome about 1,150,000 visitor arrivals by year-end, TAT will be working closely with qualified travel agents in China to ensure incoming traffic will be of high quality. TAT will also participate in many travel fairs; such as, the China International Travel Mart in Shanghai and Kunming and Guangzhou International Travel Fair, while at the same time promoting new destinations in Thailand like Chiang Mai, Ko Chang, Hua Hin and Cha-am.
Meanwhile, visitors from the Middle East reached 453,891 last year, indicating an 11.84% growth from the previous year. Tourists from the region often visit Thailand during the green or off-peak season. TAT foresees 491,000 arrivals from this group of big spending tourists by the end of this year, which is expected to help beef up foreign exchange revenues of up to 79 billion Baht for the country.
To further tap the growing market, TAT has set up its Dubai office in order to oversee marketing activities in 12 countries in the Middle East. Part of the strategy is also to participate in major travel marts organized within the region.
With visitor arrivals from India totaling 506,237 in 2007, a notable increase of 17.80%, this country has also caught the attention of TAT, which forecasts 600,000 arrivals at the end of 2008. Aside from the office in New Delhi, TAT appointed its representative in Mumbai in late 2007 to ensure it would not fail to cash in on the stellar growth of the city’s economy.
Apart from attending travel marts held in major cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, TAT will also penetrate the market via smaller-scale marts to generate more awareness for Thailand as a preferred destination.
Meanwhile, road shows and other marketing promotion activities in other potential cities will be implemented, allowing operators from Thailand a chance to meet with local tourism-related operators and create a bond between the two sides, which will be beneficial to Thailand’s travel industry in the long run.