High-end tourists from four Asean countries are expected to generate at least 1.3 billion baht in income for Thai tourism next year, reports the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

The agency plans to spend 124 million baht on marketing campaigns to attract them.Last year Asean visitors to Thailand reached 7.28 million, up 15% from the year before.

They accounted for 27.4% of total foreign tourists.The number of tourists from Indonesia rose 32% to 594,251, Malaysia surged 19% to 3 million, Singapore was up 14.95% to 955,468, and Vietnam rose to 17% to 725,057.TAT research showed there are 7.74 million high-end travellers from these four Asean nations: 2.38 million from in Indonesia, 2.28 million in Malaysia, 2.71 million in Singapore and 370,000 million in Vietnam.

Jamnong Junnapiya, TAT’s executive director for Asean, South Asia and South Pacific, said high-end tourists in Asean are important for Thai tourism because they like shopping, and the diversity and quality of Thai products can attract them.

High-end travellers spend an average of 5,873 baht per night on accommodation compared to only 1,667 baht per night for regular tourists. They spend 23,398 baht on shopping while typical travellers spend an average of 11,323 baht.

Expenses on food and beverages and entertainment for high-end tourists average 14,483 and 12,458 baht respectively, compared with 5,739 and 5,593 baht for regular tourists.

TAT plans to spend 16.6 million baht on marketing campaigns in Indonesia, hoping to generate 155 million baht in spending by their high-end tourists.

One tactic to woo Indonesian families is a learn-and-play three-day/two-night package here costing 100,000 baht per person. TAT also has eco-tourism packages priced from 120,000 baht.

For Malaysia, TAT plans to spend 30 million baht on marketing in hopes of earning 415 million baht in income. Some gimmicks include “Live a Sultan’s Life in Thailand”, with tourists treated to top-class Thai-style services in six-star facilities for two days in Bangkok or three or four days in Hua Hin. Health and beauty enthusiasts could enjoy a luxury therapy package on Samui. Each package will be priced from 50,000 to 100,000 baht.

TAT plans to spend 44 million baht on marketing in Singapore to lure 457 million baht in income, with highlight tours including “Journey of Thai Food” tracing the origins of Thai food and desserts, spiced with Thai culture and cooking classes. Another package is the “Seasonal Relaxing in a Romantic Valley” featuring stays in beautiful hotels with natural surroundings such as in Chiang Mai.

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