The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is leading a contingent of 42 exhibitors at the World Travel Market 2019, one of the world’s leading travel trade shows, which is being held in London, during 4-6 November, 2019. Of those, a total of 27 are first-timers, mostly exclusive boutique properties, villas and tour operators specialising in niche markets.
Exhibiting at the WTM for 39 consecutive years, the Thailand presence includes 31 hotel and resorts, five tour operators, five other tourism-related agencies, and one health and wellness company. The line-up of first timers includes 20 hotels and resorts from Bangkok and beach destinations nationwide.
Other specialist exhibitors include the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Co., Ltd., the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat Co., Ltd., Chiang Mai Night Safari and the Thai Elephant Alliance Association (TEAA).
The Thai pavilion has been designed in line with the concept of “Open to the New Shades of Thailand” under the campaign “Amazing Thailand”. Visitors can enjoy various cultural activities and live demonstrations of art and culture, including displays of Thai textiles, fabric, arts and crafts by the Queen Sirikit Institute, set up to recognise and celebrate the wonderful work being done under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit The Queen Mother.
The pavilion highlights many creative and innovative products and services of high potential tourist attractions in emerging cities of Thailand that are well suited to the travel behaviour and preferences of UK and European visitors, especially repeat visitors seeking to learn more about the ways of life in local communities.
The lotus pink colour of the pavilion reflects the natural beauty of destinations; such as, Thale Noi Waterfowl Reserve in Phatthalung, Red Lotus Lake in Udon Thani. etc. The entire pavilion has a very strong environmental focus in line with TAT’s policy to align the future of tourism with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
It is made entirely of recyclable and non-polluting materials. All the wood is from renewable sources. All the waste generated in the pavilion is to be deposited in separate disposal bins. And all visitors and the Thai delegation members are requested not to use plastic containers for food and beverages.
The Thai tourism information counter is open all through the show providing news and updated information about Thailand’s tourism attractions in the primary and emerging cities.
The Responsible Thailand Awards 2019 are to be presented at the World Travel Market (WTM) on 4 November in a ceremony presided over by the Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.
Organised by TAT in cooperation with the UK publishing company Wanderlust Travel Media, the Awards “recognise and celebrate organisations have made an outstanding contribution to sustainable tourism developments, help protect the country whilst engaging and educating tourists on local environmental issues.”
Four Thai hotels and resorts, an elephant sanctuary and a non-governmental organisation promoting community-based tourism are to be conferred the Responsible Thailand Awards 2019 in recognition of their commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism.
TAT’s market research for the UK indicates a rise in demand for Responsible Tourism and wellness holidays. TAT is also working with local tour operators on specific marketing campaigns designed to target both these markets.
Because Thailand is already a well-established destination amongst UK travellers, it is important to showcase Thailand’s secondary cities, and new products to the UK consumer. As such, there is a rising interest in destinations; such as, Ko Lipe, Khao Sok and Chiang Rai.
One new market segment for the 2019-2020 financial year is the EATHAI VISITHAI segment. This is a group of people that classify themselves as ‘foodies’. They enjoy trying different cuisines around the world, and the main attraction in Thailand is the different food experiences, ranging from food carts and street vendors, to the locals-only (gastro) pubs, dramatic wineries, or one-of-a-kind restaurants.
In 2018, European visitors were up 3.86% to 6.76 million, generating an estimated 501 billion Baht. Russia retained its status as the largest source market from Europe with arrivals of 1.47 million. The United Kingdom was the second highest source market with a total of 987,000 followed by Germany 889,000, and France 749,000. Visitors also grew from East Europe (+9%).
In January-September 2019, Thailand recorded 4,698,239 European visitors, generating an estimated 324.758 billion Baht. This year, TAT has set a growth target of 11.53% in tourism revenue from the European market.
The United Kingdom is now Thailand’s second largest market out of Europe. Thailand welcomed more than 719,599 UK visitors during January – September 2019.
In 2018, UK visitors had an average length of stay 17.71 days per person per visit, well above the 9.2 day average of all visitors to Thailand. In the same period, UK visitors had an average daily expenditure of 4,286 Baht. This generated a total of about 72.458 billion Baht in foreign exchange revenue.