The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Thai Airways International (THAI) and THAI Smile Airways (THAI Smile) to stimulate tourism growth from India, which is one of Thailand’s important source market for visitor arrivals.

Mr. Napintorn Srisunpang, Vice Minister of Tourism and Sports, said, “Following the materialisation of the Thai-Indian Air Travel Bubble arrangement and the reopening of commercial flights between India and Thailand, this latest agreement between TAT and THAI and THAI Smile will certainly help accelerate the planned recovery of the Indian market, which is an important source market for visitor arrivals from South Asia to Thailand.”

Mr. Suvadhana Sibunruang, THAI Acting Chief Executive Officer, said the agreement will see THAI and THAI Smile cooperating with TAT on the recovery marketing efforts and joint promotions as well as offering privileges to travellers on over 30 flights a week between India and Thailand on six round-trip routes:

  • Bangkok-New Delhi 14 flights a week (THAI);
  • Bangkok-Mumbai 7 flights a week (THAI);
  • Bangkok-Chennai 7 flights a week (THAI);
  • Bangkok-Bengaluru 7 flights a week (THAI);
  • Bangkok-Kolkata 7 flights a week (THAI Smile) starting 11 April 2022;
  • Bangkok-Phuket-Mumbai 7 flights a week (THAI Smile) starting 10 April 2022.

THAI is planning to expand the summer 2022 network with 34 additional routes covering cities in Asia, Australia and Europe, and is also considering increasing the frequency of existing flights in response to the anticipated growth in demand. Passengers on THAI’s international routes will be able to connect domestically within Thailand using THAI Smile’s services. 

At TAT, this latest agreement with THAI and THAI Smile forms part of the overall recovery marketing efforts in response to the materialisation of the Thai-Indian Air Travel Bubble arrangement since February, in which TAT plans to join hands with airlines to help enhance the image of Thailand as the preferred destination for Indians wanting to travel abroad.

Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and South Pacific, said, “TAT is moving forward with our pro-active strategy to rebuild and maintain Thailand’s position as a top destination for Indian travellers. Working closely with THAI and THAI Smile, which operate multiple Thailand-India flight routes, is a key factor in our strategy.

“In line with the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022: Amazing New Chapters’ campaign, the focus is on attracting high-spending special interest groups by working with celebrities and influencers to attract weddings and honeymoons, luxury, and millennials.”

Mr. Tanes explained ongoing marketing activities in the Indian market through the TAT New Delhi and Mumbai Offices included working closely with the local travel and tourism industry on updating travel advisors and operators on existing and new tourism offerings in Thailand, as well as the safety measures and relaxed entry requirements in place, offering joint promotions and special privileges in conjunction with the THAI and THAI Smile flights, offering joint promotions aimed at the luxury market, and the holding together with airlines of networking sessions in key cities to further promote Thailand’s tourism appeal.

To promote Thailand as a wedding and honeymoon destination for the Indian market, TAT is organising an Amazing Thailand Wedding EXPO 2022 this month to boost travellers from the segment.

TAT will also head-up Thailand’s presence at India’s largest tourism promotion event – South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) 2022 – scheduled for 18-20 May in New Delhi.

As efforts by TAT and others to rebuild the Indian market grow, based on the load factor of the current flights operated by THAI and THAI Smile between Thailand and India, it is expected at least 13,000 Indian tourists will visit Thailand per month. This estimate does not include Indian tourists using other airlines.

In 2019, a total of 1,995,516 Indians travelled to Thailand generating tourism income of 86,372.01 million Baht. In term of arrivals, this represented a growth of 24.85%, and in income a growth of 27.45%.

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