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Adjusting Marketing Plan to Maintain Tourist Confidence

February 17, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is adjusting its tourism marketing plan to maintain tourist confidence in Thailand after a report showed a decline in the number of international visitors in January 2014.

TAT Governor Thawatchai Arunyik said that TAT still maintained Thailand’s tourism income target of 1.32 trillion baht to be earned from international markets in 2014.

It will invite members of the international media from 30 countries to visit Thailand from 19 to 23 February 2014. They will be briefed on the current political situation and Thailand’s readiness to welcome all visitors. No country advises against traveling to Thailand despite the ongoing political protests in Bangkok.

Mr. Thawatchai explained that the decline in tourist arrivals involved mainly the Asian market. He believed that with the adjustment in the marketing plan, tourist arrivals from Asia, especially China, Japan, and Russia, would return in the third and fourth quarters of 2014.

A survey conducted by the TAT Shanghai Office indicates that travelers from China still show a strong interest in visiting Thailand, despite political tensions in Bangkok. The number of visa applications at the Thai Consular Office in Shanghai remains high, at 7,000-8,000 applications a day. Flight bookings with Thai Airways International (THAI) also remain robust, with a 75-percent load capacity.

In the survey, independent Chinese travelers and repeat visitors, who account for 30 percent of the total number of Chinese tourists coming to Thailand, have confirmed that their trips to destinations in Thailand, including Bangkok, will go ahead as planned.

Some group tourists traveling with charter flights have changed their programs to visit destinations outside Bangkok. The top alternative destinations include Phuket, Phang-nga, and Krabi in the South, and Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in the North. Thailand welcomed 4.7 million Chinese tourists in 2013. The number represented an increase of 68.8 percent over 2012.

Meanwhile, four Thai boxing tournaments are being staged in four major cities in China between January and March 2014, to promote Thailand as a sports destination. A five-day Thai Festival is scheduled to be held in Shanghai in April to showcase and promote Thai products and Thai tourism in the Chinese market.

The TAT Governor said that TAT is working closely with all authorities involved and private agencies to facilitate travel and hospitality for all tourists during Bangkok’s current unstable political situation. However, while the demonstrations are taking place in the central Bangkok areas, life in most parts of the Thai capital and throughout Thailand continues as usual.

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