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Thailand plans high-profile presence at ITB 2011

March 3, 2011

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), together with a broad range of industry alliance partners, will launch a seven-month campaign to attract more transit tourists and stopover visitors to Bangkok. To be run under the brand-name ‘Amazing Thailand Stopover’, the campaign will be launched at the ITB Berlin, to be held from March 9-13, 2011.


TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said, “The ITB Berlin is the perfect launchpad for this campaign. As the world’s largest travel show, it gives us a great opportunity to get maximum publicity and coverage amongst the thousands of buyers, media, tour operators, and travel agents who attend.”

“We are hoping to attract at least ten per cent of these total transit passengers to take advantage of our special campaign. If they can be persuaded to take ‘appetiser’ tours of Thailand, they could be enticed to return for a more extended ‘main course’ visit to Thailand later.”

Although TAT, in cooperation with ATTA, the Airports of Thailand, and other partners has offered stopover tours before, those were designed mainly for those transiting at Bangkok Airport for less than 24 hours. Technically, those do not qualify to be included in the annual tally of visitor arrivals because they do not meet the global definition standard of a ‘tourist’, which requires a stay of a minimum of 24 hours.


The new campaign will be designed to offer longer-stay stopover packages and help those who plan to change flights at Bangkok Airport build the packages into their journey right from the outset.

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport was served by 94 scheduled passenger airlines in 2010. Transit passengers through the airport totalled 1.53 million, up 5.64 per cent over 2009.

Suraphon said, “This campaign is a major enhancement over our past offers. Although our national airline, Thai Airways International is our preferred partner, we also hope to work closely with the many other airlines, especially the Star Alliance members, to attract more stopover visitors to Bangkok.”

The “Bangkok Stopover” campaign will be soft-launched at the Thai Pavilion on 10 March 2011, the second day of the ITB Berlin. To be effective as of April 2011, the campaign is aimed at visitors originating in key European cities, especially Paris, Moscow, and London, and en route to other points in the Asia-Pacific region.

The world’s biggest travel trade show, the ITB 2011 is now in its 46th year. Thailand has participated every year since 1976, making this Thailand’s 36th year of participation in the show. The 2010 event was attended by 11,127 exhibitors from 187 countries and territories.

Mr Suraphon said, “This year will be particularly useful to highlight Thailand’s exceptional tourism performance in 2010, especially in the wake of the various political and economic challenges that we faced. It is a success story that I am sure will go down well in Europe.”

Located in a 540-sq.m.-area in Hall 26B under the theme “Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You”, the Thai-style pavilion will be designed to facilitate the rising number of Thai delegates and ensure that the space is used for maximum benefit.

In line with global travel trends and consumer preferences in Europe, special emphasis will be placed on promoting family travellers, repeat visitors and niche-market customer segments; such as, golf, ecotourism, and health and wellness sectors.

This year, TAT will publicise the huge diversity and variety of Thai tourism products under the new campaign “Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You”, highlighting the unique charm of “Thai-ness” as reflected in the hospitality and friendliness of the Thai people and promote Thailand’s unique art and culture as a key differentiation point from other holiday destinations.

Over 35,000 brochures promoting more than 50 types of travel opportunities in Thailand will be distributed at ITB. Special focus will be placed on promoting beach resorts; such as, Koh Samui, Koh Chang, Phuket, Pattaya, Khao Lak, Hua Hin; Natural and Cultural destinations ; such as, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Ayutthaya, and Kanchanaburi, and promoting special-interest activities; such as, diving and golf.

This year, several tourism businesses and provincial tourism officials from Pattaya, Phuket, Samui, Krabi, and Phang Nga will be participating to promote their respective locations, which have recently undergone many major tourism-related infrastructure improvements.

One very popular way of attracting visitors to the Thai pavilion is by providing space for them to enjoy and experience a Thai spa therapy and massage session. This year, TAT has selected Thai spa operators who are previous winners of the Thailand Tourism Awards to exhibit their products and services.

On 9 March 2011, TAT and Eva Air will sign a memorandum to promote the “Amazing Thailand Amazing Family” package for European visitors, especially from Amsterdam, London, and Vienna, which Eva Air serves from Bangkok 13 times a week.

On 10 March, the Green Tourism Awards ceremony will be held for German travel agents and hotels which promote sustainable tourism to Thailand, followed by a Happy Hour party from 1500-1800 hrs.

TAT will also host a networking lunch for European tour operators and media on 11 March.

After ITB 2011, TAT will undertake a “Post – ITB Road Show” to Vienna, Austria on 15 March, and Zurich, Switzerland on 16 March.

Arrivals from Europe have historically played a major role in the development of Thai tourism industry. In 2010, arrivals from Europe totalled 4.3 million visitors, up 7% over 4.05 million visitors in 2009. The United Kingdom topped the list with 818,000 arrivals, followed by Germany with 612,000, and Russia with 611,000.

In January – September 2010, European visitors stayed an average of 15 days and spent an average of 3,517 Baht (or Euro 83) per person per day, generating about 158 billion Baht (or Euro3.57 billion) for the Thai economy.

In 2011, European visitors to Thailand are expected to total 4.45 million.

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