The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) participated in the annual Arabian Travel Market (ATM), in Dubai last month, to provide the opportunity for Middle East travel operators to learn more about Thailand’s initiative to best cater to the Middle East tourists– the ‘Quality Leisure Destination through Thainess’, spearheaded by the ‘Amazing Thailand Luxury’ campaign.
This year, 66 exhibitors from Thailand joined ATM 2016, most of which are hotels offering unique products and services such as pool villas, boutique experiences and total privacy. In addition, there are a number of health and wellness companies, attractions, and a Thai cooking school.
During the ATM 2016, TAT hosted the Amazing Thailand Luxury Networking Reception in the famous Burj Al Arab Hotel on April 26, allowing the chance for top Thailand’s travel executives led by Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, to mingle with representatives from the Middle East travel and hospitality industry and members of the media. The launch event gave people the chance to network and learn more about the latest developments in Thailand’s travel industry as well as to discuss prospective business and partnerships.
The event was aimed at boosting the numbers of luxury tourists from Middle East nations by promoting Thailand’s wide range of high-class attractions and experiences as well as fine dining, health and wellness opportunities, family friendly resorts and attractions, as well as world-class shopping. These are all backed by the touch of Thainess and innate hospitality that makes every visit to Thailand a unique and memorable experience.
Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT governor said, “Middle East travellers are renowned for recognising quality and for seeking out family friendly luxury offerings, all of which Thailand is famous for. In terms of accommodation, healthcare, shopping and cultural experiences, Thailand’s standards are always high. By marketing the kingdom as a ‘Quality Leisure Destination through Thainess’, we are positioning ourselves as a unique nation that serves the needs of luxury lovers while also meeting their religious requirements.”
To ensure that Middle East travellers as well as tourists from other Muslim nations get the most out of their Thai travels, TAT is working with tour operators, hotels and other businesses; such as, hospitals, health centres and restaurants to ensure the needs of Middle East visitors are met. Many hotels and businesses now employ Arabic speaking staff and there are many restaurants in Thailand that offer halal dishes both local and international.
A mobile application has also been designed to help Muslim travellers find the nearest mosques, halal restaurants, and other facilities of cultural importance to Muslim travellers.
As a result of these efforts, the Master Card Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index 2016 ranked Thailand second place on the list of non-organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations for the second year running.
With the collaboration from its strategic partners in using both social and traditional marketing tools, including celebrity marketing, Thailand has been able to better reach high-quality target markets in the Middle East, no matter coming as a family or alone; for business or pleasure; either honeymoon couples, or those who need healthcare services.
The Middle East remains one of the key markets to raise Thailand’s quality tourism benchmark, especially for people seeking luxury experiences and healthcare. The importance of the Middle East Market has been noted as 67% of Middle East visitors make repeat visits to the country, an outstanding record that underscores Thailand’s enviable status as a top leisure travel destination.
Thailand welcomed 571,920 visitors from the Middle East region in 2015, with 163,960 visitors from the UAE, 90,012 from Oman, over 85,597 from Iran and 71,000 from Kuwait. In 2014, Middle East visitors to Thailand stayed an average of 11.88 days, and spent an average of 171 US dollars daily, compared with an average 9.8 day stay for other nationalities who spent about 148 US dollars a day.