The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has accorded India with a vital market status within Asia; especially since Indian travellers to the Kingdom of Thailand have touched 919,000 visitors for the period January to December 2011.
As part of the process to further enhance the marketing strategies for India, Mr Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand led a delegation to Mumbai along with Mr Auggaphol Brickshawana, Advisor to the TAT Governor and Mr Phanom Kaributra, Executive Director of the ASEAN- South Asia and South Pacific Region Department.
Members of the delegation also included members of the media from Thailand; such as, Radio Thailand, Matichon Daily, Post Today and The Nation in addition to marketing heads from the TAT Head Office.
Key travel industry leaders and association heads that met with the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand included Mr Rajiv Duggal, Managing Director - KUONI Travel India Ltd., Mr Karan Anand, Head Business Development - Cox and Kings (India) Limited, Ms Namrata Dalwani, Managing Director - Krisia Holidays and Travels Pvt.Ltd, Mr Arvind Tandon, Managing Director - Faraway Places Marketing Pvt. Ltd, Mr Om Prakash Sahgal, Director - Inorbit Tours Pvt. Ltd, Mr Ashwini Kakkar, Executive Vice Chairman - Mercury Travels Ltd, and Mr Ravishankar, Chief Executive Officer - Vacations Exotica.
Also attending the discussions were industry association leaders that included Mr Iqbal Mulla, Chairman and Managing Director - Treasure Tourism Corporation Ltd and President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Mr Ajay Prakash, Chief Executive - Nomad Travels and President - Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), Mr Himanshu Patil, Director - Kesari Tours Pvt. Ltd, and Chairperson - Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI).
Other members of the Tourism Authority of Thailand delegation included Mr Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Director - International PR Division, Ms Runjuan Tongrut - Director, New Delhi office, Mr Sethaphan Buddhani - Director, TAT Mumbai Office and Mr Carl Vaz - Chairman and CEO, Charson Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd. (TAT Mumbai Marketing and Public Relations office).
The Governor began his speech by elaborating on how Thailand is the number 1 holiday destination in South East Asia leading with a total of 919,000 tourists from all around the world with Singapore coming in second place with 896,000 visitors.
The Governor in his presentation touched upon the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s marketing strategies for the year 2012, which includes focusing on four market segments; namely Ecotourism, Golf, Health and Wellness, and Wedding and Honeymoon, which have always been Thailand’s strong points.
Commenting on this niche market segmentation, TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said, “The focus on the four niche-market segments is based on the global trend for more experiential tourism, especially among repeat travellers seeking to spend more focused time on a particular activity.” With regards to Ecotourism, the Governor also pointed out that the TAT has for years been undertaking environmental protection activities and projects; such as, the Green Leaf Certification Programme, the Thailand Tourism Awards programme, and the 7 Greens Concept, with an aim to promote environmentally-friendly tourism.
Mr Svetasreni also highlighted how Thailand is home to some world-class shopping centres and showrooms; such as, Terminal 21, Crystal Design Centre (CDC) which is the most comprehensive and integrated Design Centre in Asia, CentralPlaza Grand Rama 9, IKEA Thailand, Asiatique The Riverfront, and The Mansion 7.