CTN NEWS – Thailand hopes to boost its tourism revenue by targeting high-spending groups like Indian wedding parties and honeymooners, a senior tourism official said.
Thai tourism officials hope to tap into the multibillion-dollar Indian wedding industry’s “pent-up demand” this week, according to Reuters’ Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Several Indian couples got married in Thailand
Several Indian couples got married in the past two years, but couldn’t find honeymoon locations … or held off on getting married, wanting an overseas reception, such as in here, he said.
Foreign tourism revenue from January to August 2022 came in at 186 billion baht ($5 billion US) from 4.2 million visitors, and 10 million arrivals are expected for the full year.
Thailand country relies heavily on tourism
The Southeast Asian country relies heavily on tourism as a driver of economic growth. Foreign arrivals plummeted to just 428,000 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with a record of nearly 40 million in 2019 when tourism made up 12% of GDP.
Now, having dropped most pandemic-related restrictions, the government is targeting revenue of $11 billion in the second half of 2022.
Indian weddings here can last up to a week and include everything from event planning to cater, decoration, and transportation.
60% of Indian destination weddings in Thailand
About 60% of Indian destination weddings in Thai were those of residents of India, while the remainder were from overseas Indian families, he said, so Thai tourism representatives in Mumbai and New Delhi are expanding partnerships with wedding planners.
Siripakron expects tourists will be spending at least 48,000 baht per trip this year and in 2023 he hopes that number will rise to 50,000 baht per trip, helped by other high-spending segments like medical tourism and executives choosing to work remotely in Thailand.
The government will also extend some tourist visas from 15 to 30 days starting in October as traveler behavior changes to favor longer stays due to expensive flights and low availability, he said.
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