Thailand’s appeal as a quality leisure destination continues to increase with tourism revenue for 2017 expected to exceed 2016’s record US$46 billion, itself a 12% increase on 2015. The nation has enjoyed considerable growth from the European market, up almost 10 per cent in 2016, with visitors from the Americas increasing by over 13 per cent.
According to TAT Sydney Director, Rujiras Chatchalermkit; “With a continued marketing focus on immersive experiences such as wellness retreats, culinary experiences, eco-tourism and agro-tourism, TAT aims to move from the nation’s previous appeal as a budget destination for young full moon party-goers, instead focussing on the increasing global demand for high-end quality tourism product. This focus on quality tourism has seen a move from simply counting visitor numbers to measuring tourism revenue.”
While the death of Thailand’s much beloved king caused a temporary pause in the nation’s year-round festivities, it’s business as usual for most of Thailand’s nightlife, festivals and events with only a slight drop in tourism numbers experienced over the short period in which festivities were cancelled out of respect for a nation’s mourning.
Festivities have resumed however, with the first big event of the year about to take place. The Thailand Tourism Festival (TTF) returns to Bangkok’s Lumpini Park to highlight the fun and fascinating attractions that can be enjoyed by tourists travelling in the kingdom. The Festival, which coincides with Chinese New Year 2017, will be held during 25-29 January, 2017, and is expected to attract over 650,000 visitors with 90 per cent of these visitors predicted to travel in Thailand in 2017. These trips could generate up to 400 million Baht in revenue.
The King’s death has however, brought world attention to the many great achievements during his reign, and growing interest in the nation’s Royal Projects, which fits well with TAT’s focus for 2017 on promoting Creative Tourism through the Unique Thai Local Experiences to create memorable and invaluable holiday experience for tourists.
During his reign, the much-loved King Bhumibol Adulyadej initiated many Royal Projects around the country with an aim to look after Thailand’s poorest people, share the country’s wealth, and look after Thailand’s natural resources.
“These Royal Projects offer tourists a new way of experiencing Thailand and of making a real grassroots connection with the kingdom’s diverse people. All the Royal Projects welcome visitors, be it for a few hours or several days, and there is a diverse range of things to do. You could find yourself learning how to make a unique local dish, releasing fish into the Thai seas, feeding cattle or teaching the village children before spending a night under the roof of a local family. It’s an experience many visitors will cherish years to come.”
Many major airlines service direct and indirect flights to Thailand, with over 60 direct flights and over 800 indirect flights departing Australia each week for Bangkok or Phuket.
“This capacity makes it easy and flexible for Australian travellers to plan their holiday to Thailand, even during peak holiday periods, another reason the destination remains one of Australia’s favourites.”