Thailand has registered a 15% growth in Indian tourist arrivals in the first half of 2017, thanks to more direct flights from various Indian destinations. India is ranked sixth in terms of tourist arrivals in Thailand and South India contributes around 30% of them. As many as 8 lakh Indian tourists visited that country till July this year, which has gone up by 16% over 2016.
“We expect that the revenue from Indian market to increase by 14% this year,” Sriporn Bhekanandana, Deputy Executive Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said. The focus destinations will be mainly the unexplored regions of Hua Hin and Cha-Am as well as other regions such as Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Krabi, Trat, Phuket, Pattaya and Bangkok.
“Ever since we have launched direct flights from Kochi in 2016, we have seen a significant rise in the footfalls and we are certain that this will continue to grow,” Bhekanandana added. She was in Kochi with a delegation of 30 companies to deliver Thailand products for the new-age traveller. To keep the momentum, she said, there is a need for travel agents to be aware of regions beyond Bangkok and Pattaya and to be able to sell new products and experiences to the new-age traveller.
Talking about the new tourism segments that are now picking up from India, Bhekanandana added, “The wedding tourism segment has already started picking up from India in a big way. Thailand witnessed around 250 weddings last year, mainly from Kolkata, followed by Mumbai and New Delhi. Aiming to increase it to 350 this year, TAT has introduced several attractive offers and special incentives for wedding planners and couples.”