Thailand is currently among the world’s most popular holiday destinations, and for a good reason. The Land of Smiles has a great deal of attractions from vibrant cities to stunning beaches and jungle-covered hills.
It’s also a heaven for visitors interested in exotic experiences such as long-tail boat rides, bathing elephants and sampling the country’s unique cuisine. As such, it’s not surprising that the country is expected to attract 40 million visitors this year. However, only a fraction of this number will consist of Latin American tourists.
According to a travel expert from Monederosmart, in 2018, Latin Americans accounted for only two percent of visitors to Thailand. Since there is nothing more convincing than first-hand experience, earlier this year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) held the first ever fam trip trade event to promote the country to the Latin American tourist market. In 2018, Thailand welcomed 202,106 Latin American visitors, most of whom hailed from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Chile, generating around 15 billion Baht.
First Fam Trip Trade Event Gathered 40 Tour Operators
TAT believes that it can improve on this number, by demonstrating Thailand’s high quality travel products and services. The first fam trip trade event gathered 40 tour operators and travel experts from five Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Chile. The networking and promotional event was held in cooperation with Emirates Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Bangkok Airways.
The participants were given a glimpse of Thailand’s top attractions, including Bangkok, Phuket, Ko Samui, Ayutthaya and Phang Nga. They were also taken to numerous tourist attractions in Bangkok such as the Grand Palace, Chinatown, the Flower Market and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. A walking tour around the Din Daeng and Kudeejeen Community, (a community of Portuguese descendants) completed the day’s activities. The excursions were followed by the Amazing Thailand Latin America Trade Meet in Bangkok, during which the participants learnt about various travel-related products and market strategies.
In its bid to boost tourist numbers, Thailand is also considering LGBT travelers from Latin America as a potential market. And the return of the Pride parade to Chiang Mai this year could be a game changer when it comes to putting Thailand on the radar of the LGBT community. With this in mind, TAT attended the LGBT Forum in Sao Paulo in June and is planning to attend the LGBT Symposium in Bangkok in September.
2018 Tourist Numbers
In 2018, Thailand received a record 38.27 million visitors, a 7.5 percent increase from the previous year. The biggest groups that made up this number included travelers from East Asia who totaled 23.62 million, Europe 5.91 million, South Asia 1.77 million and the Americas 1.41 million.