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Outbound Thais to Spain rise 20%

February 14, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

Cashing in on the growing popularity of Spain as a European destination for Thai tourists which attracted 16,299 travellers in 2013, the Spain Tourism Board, El Corte Ingles Department Stores and Across Spain, DMC & Leisure Travel, today held a travel trade update meeting with over 100 Thai travel agents in Bangkok.

Thai tourists visiting Spain rose to 16,299 in 2013, up by 20% when compared to 2012. The 2013 figure represented 8.6% of total Asean tourists to Spain, according to Spain’s Instituto de Estudios Turistico.

According to Mr Arturo Ortiz, Director of Spain Tourism Board, “Spain is determined to be one of the top prime destinations for Thai travelers. This travel trade update we are holding in Bangkok for travel agents is just one of the many steps we intend to implement to achieve our goals.”

He said that the rising popularity of Spain as a destination for Thais coincides with Madrid and Barcelona being ranked in 2nd place as best shopping destination in Europe according to The Globe Shopper Index- Europe, a program made by the Economist Intelligence Unit sponsored by Global Blue.

He added that in the field of MICE (meeting, incentive, congress and exhibition), Spain was third top country destination in 2012, while Madrid and Barcelona were the fourth and fifth favourite destinations based on statistics released by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Spain, with a population of 47.2 million, attracted 60.7 million foreign tourists in 2013 or 5.6% higher than 2012 and retaining its position among the top three destinations worldwide.

“El Corte Ingles warmly welcomes Thai visitors to enjoy our authentic Spanish hospitality and a truly unique shopping experience. We offer international visitors a host of services and amenities, including a 10% discount for international customers, tax-free redemption points, interpreters, hands-free shopping, currency exchange, concierge service, delivery service, gift-wrapping, personal shopping and more,” says Ms Lisa Dinh, Business Development Manager, International Marketing and Tourism of El Corte Ingles Department Stores.

El Corte Ingles is Spain’s oldest and longstanding department store that has grown for 70 years since 1940 for its remarkable customer service. It has faithfully adhered and put into practice its renowned slogan of “the store for all your purchases”.

It carries the most sought-after fine jewellery and timepiece brands such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Loewe, Bulgari, Cartier, Rolex, IWC, Panerai, Vertu, Blancpain, Tag Heuer and Omega.

“In the leisure travel field, sports is now a flagship of the company being the authorized ticketing agent for FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid and RCD Espanyol, as well as handball, basketball, Formula 1 and Moto GP,” says Mr Ignacio Grijalvo, Director of Across Spain, DMC & Leisure Travel that was founded in 2004 by a group of inbound tour professionals since 1991.

It also handles cultural tours on a tailor-made basis covering a wide range of choice and options like opera, way to Saint James, architectural tours, national parks, classical music, gastronomy, wine tours, as well as wellness & healthcare and luxury tours.

Across Spain is a dominant player in corporate travels and MICE. Its business turnover is split 50:50 between specialised leisure and DMC for MICE.

Asean Tourists to Spain (2012-2013)

Countries Singapore Philippines Malaysia Indonesia


2013 37,183 48,250 27,214 57,288 16,299 4,207
2012 38,936 47,320 20.263 41037 13,606 4,571
% Growth -5 2 34 40 20 -8

Source: Instituto de Estudios Turistico

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