TAT aiming to boost UK wedding tourists
A romance-and-wedding theme will be the main strategy for luring British tourists to Thailand in the coming few years, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has decided. It plans to use the theme for its booth at the World Travel Mart 2013 in London, in November.
Britons are among the top five highest-spending tourists in Thailand, and the TAT sees potential to increase the weddings and honeymoons segment.
It found that 300,000 British couples had weddings last year and 80,000 couples chose to hold ceremonies or take their honeymoon trips abroad.
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, director of the TAT’s London office, said the agency is promoting Thailand as the first romance destination for British citizens, with beautiful beaches and luxury pool villas.
A TAT study showed 755,691 tourists visited Thailand from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013 for honeymoon and wedding purposes, generating revenue of B29.9 billion.
“Thailand is one of the most popular long-haul honeymoon and wedding destinations for Britons,” Mr Siripakorn said.
The TAT plans to attract first-time visitors, families and honeymoon and wedding couples as well as travellers aged 50 and above, who account for two-thirds of Britain’s population.
Although European economies are still in trouble and outbound tourism from Britain dropped by 5 per cent last year, British visitors to Thailand grew by 3 per cent to 873,053 in 2012.
Mr Siripakorn said British travellers, especially retirees and honeymooners, are interested in doing voluntary work on their travels. Many like to visit South Africa, and Thailand should promote this segment.
Big British travel agents are opening concept stores and promoting products through social media. Mr Siripakorn suggested the TAT use more social media and high-definition video file uploads to promote tourist destinations.
According to GfK Martketwise Ltd, couples from North Asia made up 29 per cent of Thai tourism’s wedding segment from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013, led by South Korea (11 per cent), China (8 per cent) and Hong Kong (6 per cent). Following closely were those from Europe, at 28 per cent, led by the United Kingdom (5 per cent), France and Germany (3 per cent each). Third in the ranking were couples from Asean, at 15 per cent, led by Singapore (5 per cent), Malaysia (4 per cent) and Indonesia (2 per cent).