India Empire Magazine talked to Her Excellency Ms Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister for Tourism and Sports, Thailand about the current scenario of tourism in Thailand
How much has the tourist traffic gone up in the last 5 years from India to Thailand?
It has been increased every year except for last year. Last year we have drop about 6-9 per cent but this year we are expecting to increase about 16 per cent. We aim to reach 28 million of international tourist arrival to Thailand which was 24.7 million last year. The Indian tourist arrival last year was about 946,269 but this year we expect it to reach 1.05 million. Also, the length of stay of Indian tourist to Thailand average is now above 7 days which was earlier about 4 to 5 days. Last year 107 Indian films were shot and produced in Thailand.
Apart from the traditional tourist destinations, what are the new destinations coming up in Thailand?
We welcome all kinds of tourists from India but now we are aiming more on the special interest because we have lot to offer them… we already have bike, there are group of people who like bikes and super bike…We also have packages for female travelers, as there has been an increase in the arrival of female tourist. Keeping the same in mind we are now offering lady tourists with a facility of lady compartment in the train, lady seat in the bus and also many activities for ladies to enjoy. Thailand is also very famous for beauty treatment which is highly enjoyed by the women tourists. We are also intrigued with the kind of response Thai boxing has received from the women. The sport has become extremely popular amongst the ladies with good muscle build up. It is fun for young ladies to enjoy.
What are the chances of reduction in tourism packages and airfares?
The availability of the flights has increased with great numbers. The Airline companies are now offering more flights to new destinations unlike the previous options of either Bangkok or Phuket. So, with this kind of competition, the tourists have a lot of choices of airlines depending on their spending capacity. Also within Thailand, the tourists can go from Chiang Mai to Phuket without having to stop over Bangkok. This has created ease for the tourists to visit more destinations in Thailand.