Mr Napintorn Srisunpang, Vice Minister for Tourism and Sports, Mr Suvadhana Sibunruang, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI), witnessed the Letter of Intent (LOI) signing ceremony among representatives from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), THAI, and THAI Smile Airways Company Limited, to promote Thai tourism in the Indian market. Mr Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing Asia and South Pacific, Mr Nond Kalinta, THAI Chief Commercial Officer, and Mr Viset Sontichai, Acting THAI Smile Chief Executive Officer, signed the LOI at THAI Head Office.
Mr Suvadhana Sibunruang, Acting THAI CEO, said following the international border reopening in various countries, the air travel and tourism industry has shown a positive sign of recovery. THAI, THAI Smile, and TAT signed the LOI to enhance the travel experience and develop marketing activities for the Indian market, to offer passengers privileges and joint promotions especially for leisure, golfer, visiting friends and relatives (VFR) and wedding travellers, and to exchange the information in the tourism industry for sustainable development in the industry. In 2019 (before the COVID-19 pandemic), 1.9 million travellers from India generated more than 8.5 billion baht revenue in Thailand. This collaboration is expected to boost the recovery of Thai tourism businesses and the Thai economy after the pandemic. Currently, THAI and THAI Smile operates flights to India as follows:
1. Roundtrip Bangkok – Delhi: 14 flights per week
2. Roundtrip Bangkok – Mumbai: 7 flights per week
3. Roundtrip Bangkok – Chennai: 7 flights per week
4. Roundtrip Bangkok – Bengaluru: 7 flights per week
5. Roundtrip Bangkok – Kolkata: 7 flights per week by THAI Smile starting 11 April 2022
6. Roundtrip Bangkok – Phuket – Mumbai: 7 flights per week by THAI Smile starting 10 April 2022
In addition to the collaboration in the Indian market, THAI operates flights on over 34 continental and intercontinental routes in its summer 2022 schedule. Passengers may travel further with THAI Smile and Star Alliance member airlines. Flight frequencies may increase in response to the growing travel demand and the government’s upcoming policy.
Mr. Napintorn Srisunpang, Vice Minister for Tourism and Sports, said the Indian market is a significant market in Southern Asia both in market size and tourist purchasing power. This market is necessary for every country driven by a tourism economy. This collaboration is the opportunity to boost the recovery of the Indian market following the Air Travel Bubble agreement between Thailand and India. According to the Economics Tourism and Sports Division, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, in 2019, Thailand welcomed 1,995,516 inbound tourists from India, 24.85% higher, and earned 86,372.01 million baht, an increase of 27.45%. This reflects the potential of the Indian market.
Mr Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing Asia and South Pacific, said as part of the “Visit Thailand Year 2022” campaign, TAT will focus on quality inbound tourists from this particular market through celebrities and influencers marketing to the millennial target audience. TAT Delhi and Mumbai offices will also notify local tour agents about Thailand’s immigration measures and new travel products and services to plan the joint promotion activities for luxurious tourists. In addition, Amazing Thailand Wedding EXPO 2022 will be held this month to boost wedding travellers later this year.
Meanwhile, TAT is joining the South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) 2022 in Delhi from 18-20 May 2022 to promote Thailand on its readiness for tourism aspect.
Based on THAI and THAI Smile load factor figures, up to 13,000 tourists from India are expected to visit Thailand every month from this April. Moreover, the number is expected to be up to 80,000 as soon as the situation improves.