Thailand Targets Middle East Tourism
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is promoting the Kingdom as a destination for high-spending tourists from the Middle East with new tourism products to attract more visitors from the region, Qatar in particular.
In 2016, almost 30,000 Qataris visited Thailand, with medical tourism being one of the key market drivers. “Since Qataris visit Thailand mostly for medical tourism, Bangkok is currently the key destination, but Thailand can offer a variety of tourism products to the Qatari people – not only beach resorts but also culture, nature and local tourism,” said Khun Tanes Petsuwan, the TAT’s deputy governor for international marketing for Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas.
The deputy governor was speaking at a road show event organised by TAT in partnership with Qatar Airways. The event was organised as a prelude to the recent Arabian Travel Market in Dubai and had a particular emphasis on unique Thai local experiences, innovative activities and cultural experiences.
The TAT recently launched the LINK scheme, which hones in on L for local experiences, I for innovation, N for networking and K for keeping character. It aims to increase the distribution of tourism income to local communities across the country.
A new partnership between TAT and Qatar Airways is expected to further strengthen the link between these two countries. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at Dubai’s Arabian Travel Market to create a new partnership, which aims to take advantage of Qatar Airways’ global network to boost the number of tourist arrivals to Thailand in 2017 and 2018.
Based on the agreement, TAT and Qatar Airways will develop joint promotions to increase tourism from the Middle East to Thailand. As of June 1, Qatar Airways will run five daily flights from Doha to Bangkok. It will also offer two flights per day to Phuket and four flights a week to Krabi.
“Our increased frequency to Bangkok and the enhanced collaboration with the TAT is testament to our commitment to the Thai market. Bangkok has long been a hugely popular destination for both business and leisure travellers,” said Akbar Al Baker, group chief executive of the airline. “The partnership with the TAT will enable us to jointly work together to attract more travellers from secondary cities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to experience the warm and gracious hospitality Thailand is renowned for, and power the growth of this iconic Far East route from Qatar Airways.”