Thailand What's New
Thailand Remains a More Competitive and Popular Destination in Southeast Asia, Aiming High in Luxury Tourism
Thailand achieved record-breaking visitor arrival numbers in 2012, crossing the 22 million mark for the first time ever.
The highlight of the results was the fact that six countries, five of which are within the Asia Pacific region, are now producing more than one million annual visitor arrivals. These are Malaysia, China, Japan, Korea, India and Russia.
Thailand targets 24 million in 2013 in the marketing plan of action, and 28 million arrivals in 2014, which would mark a 97% rise in visitors since 2009.
Kasihorn Research Center is forecasting 19.2 million foreign tourist arrivals in BKK alone this year, up 11.3% from the previous year.
One tourism expert says: “Chasing numbers could strain the country’s ability to deliver quality services and that in turn will dampen efforts to pursue what TAT calls “quality tourists.”
However, we are committed to developing tourism plans to attract more visitors while sacrificing nothing in quality.
Don Mueang Airport has been upgraded and is a hub for LCC to relieve pressure at the overcrowded Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
Jetstar Asia is also adding more flights between BKK- Singapore, while Thai Smile started operating BKK- Mandalay flights on March 31. Norwegian Air Shuttle also started its low cost, long haul flights from Oslo to BKK on June 23.
Thai AirAsia will launch a new service from Bangkok-Siem Reap this October, on a route that has been served solely by privately owned Bangkok Airways up until now.
Further, Emirates just announced that it will launch a sixth daily flight between Dubai and Bangkok in October.
For border crossing to Myanmar, there are more border check points between Myanmar and Thailand but Tachilek and Measia are the only points available at the moment.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has set a 2014 target of 28.01 million international tourist arrivals, generating estimated foreign exchange revenue of 1.326 trillion Baht, up 13% over 2013.
For the domestic market, TAT set a target of 136.8 million trips, generating an estimated 700 billion Baht for tourism income, up by 9% over 2013.
TAT says it will strengthen Thailand’s tourism by highlighting four niche markets: ecotourism, golf, weddings and honeymoons, and health and wellness at the 12th Thailand Travel Mart.
At the same time, TAT has launched ThailandSuperQuality.com to promote luxury tourism products and services for you to experience Thailand.
Research by Colliers International Thailand Estimates an additional 1,816 luxury and high-end rooms will come online in 2013, bringing the segment’s total inventory up from 18,846 to 20,662, with an additional 440 rooms at midscale properties.
This will mark the second biggest annual increase in room inventory since 1995, after last year’s 3,171 new rooms, according to the report.
Bangkok alone has seen a number of notable openings in the first half of 2013, including Best Western Premier Sukhumvit (145 rooms), DoubleTree by Hilton hotel Sukhumvit Bangkok (177 rooms), Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit (296 rooms) and MecureBangkork Siam (189 rooms).
Opening later this year is the 289 room Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok, while the 22 room Park Hyatt Bangkok will debut next as part of the upscale Central Embassy project.
Thailand is emerging as a luxury destination in Southeast Asia and the government and TAT are trying to attract affluent globetrotters with bespoke, luxury travel packages in categories like dining, golf, spa and wellness and shopping.
Diversity in Thailand’s eco-tourism products is linked to its natural resources and is a vital asset of the country, but it is still important for the travel industry to develop more environmentally friendly destinations. Ecotourism activities focus on the following areas: cycling, bird watching, and community-based tourism, river cruising, kayaking / canoeing, rock climbing/abseiling.
The United States and European markets are strong in honeymoon markets for several destinations across Thailand and this is mainly due to TAT pushing more packages and campaigns. TAT has highlighted seven destinations that are suitable for weddings and honeymoons: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Krabi, Phuket, HuaHin and Pranburi in PrachuapKhirikhan and Samui Island in SuratThani province.
Thailand boasts over 200 high standard golf courses nationwide.Pattaya, HuaHin, Phuket and Samui all have excellent coastal courses. If golfers prefer natural courses that follow a hilly terrain then they head for northern destinations Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. There are excellent courses in the Northeast starting in NakhonRatchasima and in Kanchanaburi near the River Kwai to the west of the country.
A surge in Health and Wellness visitors is driven by the fact that Thailand is an excellent place for both preventive and curative forms of therapies and treatments. Thailand has over 200 international-standard hospitals and clinics, state-of-the-art medical technology, reasonable medical costs and excellent hospitality. It is also a perfect place for post-treatment convalescence and recovery. Thailand is estimated to have attracted 1.8 million foreign visitors seeking medical treatment in 2010. It is also an excellent locale for people seeking to learn how to meditate and perform massage, based on the country’s long-standing Buddhist traditions.
Luxury Travel has developed some niche tours packages such as culture and history, golf, wellness and spa, romance, photography, culinary tours, beach holidays or short trips as getaways to Indochina. We also promote multi-country tours combining Thailand with Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
Luxury Travel is one of the first twenty tour operators offering the following themes to tourists: "The Tastes of Southeast Asia," "ASEAN, a Tropical Paradise," "World Class Cities," "Experience Diverse Traditions," "Sport and Relaxation," and "Diverse Contemporary Creativity." These themes are part of the implementation of the Asean Tourism Marketing Strategy 2012-2015.
We can tailor-make any travel experience in Thailand. For more updates on niche tourism products in Thailand, please register for log in at our website www.luxurytravels.asia