History was made yesterday when Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra met with UK tour operators to discuss tourism opportunities.
Shinawatra (pictured centre) held a reception at Grosvenor House with top executives from STA, Hayes & Jarvis, Kuoni, Virgin Holidays, Thomas Cook, Trailfinders, Chic Locations, Turquoise Holidays, Royal Orchid Holidays and Stella Travel Services.
In an address to the operators, she outlined the trade partnership between the UK and Thailand and how important tourism is to the country, which has faced trouble from all angles in recent years.
“In Thailand, over the last few years, we have felt the impact of both natural disasters and man-made crises, both of which impacted on travel & tourism, but we were fortunate to have made quick recoveries,” she said.
Last year 771, 466 Brits visited Thailand with 628, 880 already visiting up to September this year and 810,000 expected by year-end. UK visitors have the longest average stay of 17 days, compared to an average of nine for other nationalities.
“The opening up of Myanmar will also benefit Thailand, as the two countries are connected by air, land and sea,” she added. “Certainly one of the major areas of development will be North Thailand, especially the city of Chiang Mai, which we call the Rose of the North. Access is to be enhanced by daily domestic direct flights from the popular beach resorts of Phuket and Ko Samui.”