Niche and cinema tourism fuelling outbound to Thailand; trend to continue in 2017

The leisure segment has been going strong, registering an annual double-digit growth. However, increasing numbers of cinema shootings and weddings in the Southeast Asian country is adding more teeth to its Indian outreach. TF in conversation with Isra Stapanaseth, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand New Delhi with North & East India, Bangladesh, Bhutan.


Thailand has seen a massive boom in music festivals, electronic music to be specific, adding more diversity in its tourism offerings. Given the growing number of millennial travellers, it may turn out to be a major draw for the outbound. What are your thoughts on the same?

Thailand organizes music festivals, concerts, exhibitions etc. around the year. We are hopeful that all segments and more youngsters from India get attracted to these events.

What about luxury (market) out of India, because you have a whole lot of luxury products, particularly resorts?

From the renowned hotel brands to world class spa resorts, from high end shopping to luxury cruises, Thailand has a lot to offer for the discerning travellers looking to pamper themselves with only the most exclusive holiday experiences.

Whether it is the captivating and vibrant metropolis of Bangkok, lush rainforests, the picturesque mountainous Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai provinces or the idyllic coastline and beaches such as Koh Samui, Krabi, Phuket etc. luxury holidays to Thailand have something for everyone.

For the discerning traveller, Thailand offers the magical combination of three very different experiences; natural wonders and jungle expeditions in the north, sleek city style and superb shopping in the capital and picture-perfect beaches and pristine coastline throughout the islands and along the south.

As for hotel and resorts, Thailand hosts, most of the luxury hotel brands that have world class properties across Thailand. Apart from being high end, these hotels and resorts also offer great value for money, which is the key reason that attract the Indian HNI travellers.

Any specific plans stronger foray in the leisure segment of the Indian market?

Thailand is already one of the top destinations for leisure travellers from India. Leisure travellers look for memorable experiences, good shopping, comfort, easy availability of desired food(Indian/Vegetarian), warm hospitality, easy accessibility in the country, variety and cost effective activities and products, world class facilities yet reasonable, Thailand offers it all.

How did the numbers do in 2016?

2016 has proved to be a good year in terms of Indian footfall to Thailand. In 2016, 1,193,822 Indians visited Thailand as compared to 1,069,422 in 2015. Therefore, registering a growth of 11.63 %

What are your expectations on the footfalls front in 2017?

India is a rapidly growing market for Thailand, considering that the outlook for outbound tourists from India is set to grow by leaps and bounds. Thailand being the first preferred destination due to exponential growth. Not only are Indians high spenders but are also looking at Thailand for big fat Indian weddings, celebrations, film shoots, MICE and for leisure travel. India is amongst the top ten markets for Thailand. Our expectations for 2017 an increase of around 10% over the previous year. 

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