Thailand to push value as visitor numbers drop

Thailand to push value as visitor numbers drop

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is to launch a campaign promoting the destination’s value after a drop in visitor numbers last year.

TAT London assistant director Worapa Anghsasirisap said around 700,000 Brits visited the destination in 2008, which is 50,000 less than 2007, although official figures are yet to be confirmed.

Thailand suffered from political protests late last year which saw Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok close for several days. The result was a 30% drop in visitors in December.

But it is the state of the world economy that has had a greater impact on tourism. The authority has determined to attract 750,000 UK visitors this year and will launch its value campaign in September, focusing on offering deals to consumers via the trade. It believes this tactic will be more effective than brand awareness advertising.

Tourism Authority Thailand chairman Weerasak Kowsurat said: “We remain the best destination for value for money [in the region] and that counts for a lot, especially when the world economy is going bad.” Thailand, he added, currently has 37,000 international visitors arriving each day.

Plans are also afoot to reward Thais living in the UK with flight deals if they can prove they have persuaded friends to visit the destination.

Looking for new ways to sell Thailand? Chris Coplans looks at twinning the northern Isaan region with Laos


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