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Thailands unique Weddings & Honeymoons in the spotlight at WTM 2013

November 5, 2013

Promoting weddings and honeymoons is to be the highlight of Thailand’s participation in this year’s World Travel Market (WTM) to be held between 4-7 November, 2013, at the Excel Exhibition Centre, London.

koh-samui-weddings

This year marks Thailand’s 34th year of participation. A record total of 69 Thai tourism companies include 57 accommodation companies (hotels and resorts), 7 tour operators, and another 5 related offices are attending.

HRH Princess Ubolratana will preside over the “Thailand Green Excellence Awards” ceremony of travel agents and media in the United Kingdom who play a vital role in supporting ecotourism in Thailand. In the evening, TAT will organise the “Amazing Thailand Night: Royal Gala Dinner” at Claridge’s hotel.

At the WTM this year, TAT will launch the new tagline “Amazing Thailand. It begins with the people…” for its new global marketing and promotion. This tagline complements our long-standing marketing tagline, which was simply “Amazing Thailand.”

TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said, “This tagline speaks to the increasingly human-centric aspect of Amazing Thailand, one that allows visitors to understand Thais and Thailand on a different level. It deepens the emotional value of visiting the country, one that is linked to its people in their attitude, hospitality and spirit.”

A special event will also be organised to brief the UK and European tour operators on the latest tourism products and services emerging in Thailand as well as the new initiatives being taken to promote them. The event will also be used to introduce the incoming TAT Governor Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, who will be assuming his post at the end of this year.

This year, the Thai pavilion bears the theme of “World Event: Romantic Thailand” to focus Thailand as a destination for Weddings and Honeymoons. Visitors will be able to enjoy a Thai spa demonstration by RarinJinda Wellness Spa, a popular spa amongst local and foreign consumers.

Weddings and honeymoons is one of the four key niche-market customer segments being promoted by TAT as part of the strategic plan for 2014, the other three being golf, health and wellness, and green tourism.

According to a TAT survey in March 2013, Europe is one of Thailand’s major source markets for Weddings and Honeymoons. The key driving factors are the unique opportunity to get married in a completely different environment and surroundings, excellent standards of service and value for money, beautiful beaches, luxury hotels, and good climate.

Many couples choose Thailand to tie the knot in a land renowned for its sense of grace and style, following customs and ceremonies with rich roots in Buddhist culture. The kingdom’s spectacular range of secluded, all-inclusive resorts, boutique hotels and pool villas also are perfect for honeymoons.

The United Kingdom is now Thailand’s second largest market out of Europe. Thailand welcomed more than 590,000 UK visitors during January – August 2013, up 3.56% over the same period of 2012. This clearly shows that the marketing strategies are working in spite of the somewhat depressed economic conditions in the UK.

In January – March 2013, UK visitors had an average length of stay of roughly 17 days per person per visit, well above the 10-day average of all visitors to Thailand. In the same period, UK visitors had an average daily expenditure of 3,800 Baht, up 6.52%. This generated a total of about 16 billion Baht in foreign exchange revenue, up about 8.3%.

TAT considers the UK a mature market, and has adjusted its marketing strategies to attract the wedding and honeymoon market, senior citizens, families, students, and ecotourists. Specific Thai products and services being promoted to these customer segments include Thai cuisine and Thai cooking classes, Thai massage, Thai culture and hospitality.

Over the years, Thailand has won a number of awards recognising the many creative and unique opportunities to get married and/or enjoy a memorable honeymoon. These awards include:

• The Most Popular Wedding Destination Award at the 8th Annual International Awards 2012 organised by Hospitality India and Explore the World magazines on 21 November, 2012.

• Earlier in 2012, Thailand won the Best Wedding Destination Award conferred by Travel and Leisure magazine.

• In the January 2011 issue of Recommend magazine, Thailand was named by the travel agent community as the “Sexiest Romance Honeymoon Destination in Asia.”

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