Thailand, nicknamed as `Land of Smiles’ has many reasons to smile when it comes to Indian tourists, if the latest data on tourist arrivals is any indication.
The first seven months of the year also proved healthy with Thailand witnessing 1.14 million Indian arrivals. The country is expecting conclude the year with 2 million arrivals from India, with an year-on-year growth of 24 percent, sources said.
Indian tourists accounts for 4 per cent of the 38.3 million international arrivals in Thailand, compared with 28 per cent from China. But the country is betting big on India and hopes that in the next 10 years, Indians will account for 15% of the arrivals, riding on the expanding wealth of middle-income groups.
Arrivals from last year totalled 1.56 million, up 13 per cent from 2017. Indians also spend 11 per cent more per trip than other foreign tourists according to the Thailand Tourism and Sports Ministry.
Stepping up its efforts to woo India, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Bangkok Airways jointly launched a new ‘Fly me to Thailand’ promotion, offering privileges, gift cards, discounts and many more special deals for travellers from India.
Travellers can also get discounts, special deals and privileges at 63 tourism establishments including hotels, resorts, spas, amusement parks, adventure parks, water parks, museums, restaurants and aesthetic clinics.
From the Indian side also, the travel and tour industry is trying to take the best out of the trend. “We have very good packages already for Thailand and we have prepared a five-year plan to promote Thailand packages as we witness a steady growth in outflow of Indians to places like Bangkok and Pattaya,” Mr Paul P P, Managing Director of Bangalore-based Holiday Wizard told Indian Flash News.
Thailand is one of the favourite international tourist destinations for Indians and getting even more popular. The main attractions are the stunning and pristine beaches, dazzlingly nightlife, great food, direct flight connections with numerous Indian cities and most importantly its good value-for-money. Accommodation is also relatively inexpensive, and Thais are famously hospitable hosts earning
According to Thai tourism statistics, Indian tourists spent almost 70 billion baht (USD 2.2 billion) last year compared to just 37 billion baht in 2014. They have already spent 46 billion baht in the first seven months of this year and on target to reach 79 billion baht, 13 per cent higher compared with last year. 58 per cent of Indians are repeat visitors and the average length of stay is 7.5 days.
Indian tourists accounted for 4 per cent of the 38.3 million international arrivals in Thailand last year, compared with 28 per cent from China. In the next 10 years, however, the share of Indian tourists is expected to reach 15 per cent, compared with 30 per cent from China, driven mainly by the expanding wealth of middle-income Indians.
Tourist arrivals from India have been boosted by the availability of cheap flights from several Indian cities. Bilateral airline capacity is at an all-time high with more than 300 weekly flights between 16 major cities in India. About 12 airlines fly between Indian cities and Thailandincluding Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Thai Smile, Bhutan Airlines, Druk Air, Air Asia, Spice Jet, Thai Lion Air, Indigo, NokScoot and GoAir.