The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) continued its strategy to attract more Chinese tourists from secondary potential cities in China to the kingdom by organising the annual Amazing Thailand Road Show in early August 2014. The objective of the activity was to reiterate Thailand’s position as a world-class tourist destination and keep the market up-to-date with the kingdom’s latest tourism offering, especially the ever-increasing range of luxury tourism products and services.
The move followed the National Council for Peace and Order’s (NCPO) latest pro-tourism policy – the introduction of a special tourist visa fee waiver scheme for Chinese and Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) visitors for three months between 9 August and 8 November, 2014. Prior to that, the NCPO ordered the tackling of issues hindering Thailand’s tourism, including the clean-up of beaches in Phuket, Pattaya and Hua Hin and the measures to eradicate illicit airport taxi operations and jet ski scams in a bid to improve the experience of international visitors to Thailand.
TAT organised road shows to Chongqing on 4 August, Nanning on 6 August, and Changsha on 8 August, offering opportunities for 54 sellers, including 25 hotels and 20 tour companies, from Thailand to showcase the kingdom’s unique services and attractions as well as exchange business with 275 tourism operators in the three Chinese cities. The events also attracted 28 local media, including one of China’s popular websites Hn.qq.com.
Highlighted activities during the road shows in Chongqing, Nanning and Changsha included a Chinese market briefing for Thai seller delegates, table top sales, luncheon reception hosted by King Power International and a lucky draw.
TAT Governor Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik said, “This Amazing Thailand Road Show to China 2014 was a success. Both tourism operators from Thailand and buyers in Chongqing, Nanning and Changsha have expressed their satisfaction on having great opportunities to meet face-to-face with potential partners and discuss businesses.”
“During the road show, each of our Thai sellers met and discussed business with 24 potential buyers on average. Some of the discussions have already resulted in the plans to organise trips for high-end travellers to Thailand in the near future.”
Based on TAT’s market intelligence report, the top three potential tourist markets in Chongqing are families, high-end travellers and senior citizens, and youth travellers. In Nanning, the top three markets are families, senior citizens and high-end travellers while in Changsha the top three markets comprise families, senior citizens and youth travellers. Travellers from Chongqing, Nanning and Changsha have identified Thai food, Thai hospitality and Thai smiles as well as pristine beaches and seas as most attractive qualities for Thailand as a tourist destination. In addition, travellers from Chongqing also love Thai fruits, and travellers from Changsha admire Thailand as a Buddhist country.
China is Thailand’s largest source of tourist markets contributing 4.6 million travellers (a 66.40 per cent increase) in 2013. From January to July 2014, the number of visitor arrivals from China totalled 2,218,772 tourists, representing a year-on-year decrease of 21.36 per cent. Through TAT’s vigorous market promotion strategies, coupled with the recently-introduced tourist visa waiver scheme, Thailand is expected to attract 1.5 million visitors from China in the last three months of 2014, bringing the total number for the year to 4.3 million travellers or higher than the initial target of 3.98 million visitors.