Tue, October 26, 2021


Thailand still one of top three destinations for Indian tourists

Thailand is one of the top three destinations that Indians want to visit, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said citing several recent surveys.

A survey on 4,000 people conducted in June by global travel group Thomas Cook found that 46 per cent of them wanted to travel overseas. It also found that apart from Thailand, the other top destinations they want to visit are Abu Dhabi/Dubai and the Maldives.

An earlier survey in April by InterMiles involving 11,500 respondents found that 65 per cent were planning overseas trips.

“Thailand enjoyed the status of being a very popular destination for Indian travellers before the pandemic, and it is extremely encouraging to see this will likely continue once we reopen to the Indian market,” said TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn. “Meanwhile, one of TAT’s priorities is to ensure that health and safety measures are employed in Thailand for all visitors.”

Looking ahead, TAT is working with two possible scenarios on the inbound Indian market based on seat capacity and estimated tourist arrivals from October 1 to December 31.

The first of these scenarios envisions commercial flights being resumed from the major cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, which would result in 24,500 Indians visiting Thailand during the 14-week period and generating a revenue of 1.09 billion baht.

The second scenario envisions weekly chartered flights to Thailand from New Delhi and Mumbai in place of commercial flights, resulting in 4,200 Indians visiting and generating an income of 187.7 million baht.

The revenue estimate is based on 2019 records that showed Indian travellers stayed seven days in Thailand on average and spent 44,688 baht per person.

Pent-up demand

Meanwhile, in the most recent survey conducted by TAT on 300 travel agents in Mumbai and New Delhi, 94 per cent said there was plenty of potential travellers waiting for Thailand to reopen. Some 80 per cent said Indian travellers spend an average of seven days on holiday and 33 per cent placed priority on safety and health, 25 per cent on tourism activities and the remainder on attractive offers.

However, current pilot reopening schemes like the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus were cited as unattractive to Indian travellers.


Market outlook for 2022

Based on the assumption that Thailand will reopen to Indian travellers in the last quarter of this year, the TAT Mumbai and New Delhi offices are continuing to place focus on main movers, like golf, weddings and millennials.

Phuket remains the top destination for Indian weddings, followed by Hua Hin, Rayong and Samui. An Indian wedding, known for its extravagance, on average costs between 5 million and 6 million baht with 200 to 300 guests.

Indian market overview pre-pandemic

In 2019, a total of 1.96 million Indians travelled to Thailand, generating revenue of just over 80 million baht. This represented a growth of 25.48 per cent in terms of arrivals and an income growth of 19.96 per cent. At that time, there were more than 300 flights from Thailand to India weekly, while Indian airlines GoAir and IndiGo also opened direct links to Phuket, resulting in more Indians visiting there.

Results from a TAT survey on the Indian market for 2019 showed that 94 per cent of travel agents foresaw a demand for travel to Thailand. Escorted groups constitute the largest type of traveller who would visit Thailand in 2021/2022 at 35 per cent, followed by small groups at 30 per cent, couples and honeymooners at 20 per cent, and families with children at 15 per cent.

The average length of stay was less than seven days (80 per cent), between seven and 14 days (15 per cent), and 30 days or more (5 per cent). Factors considered in travelling to Thailand were health, hygiene and safety (33 per cent), connectivity (25 per cent), competitive pricing (17 per cent), and others (25 per cent).

The survey concluded that 34 per cent of promotions should focus on mid-market, 27 per cent on luxury, 24 per cent on budget and 15 per cent on all segments.


Wedding market segment

TAT conducted another survey of destination wedding planners in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Surat, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Vadodara, Goa and Chennai. This survey showed that Phuket and Krabi were the most popular for weddings (72.41 per cent), followed next by Hua Hin and Rayong (65.52 per cent), Samui (43.1 per cent), Bangkok (25.86 per cent), Pattaya (22.41 per cent), and others (5.17 per cent).

The period most considered for a wedding in Thailand was January-June and July-December 2022 (both at 55.17 per cent), followed by November-December 2021 (34.48 per cent) and September-October 2021 (8.62 per cent).

In terms of the wedding size and the associated room requirements, the largest portion was for 50-100 rooms (at 51.72 per cent), followed by 101-150 rooms (43.1 per cent), above 150 rooms (15.52 per cent), and less than 50 rooms (6.9 per cent).

Length of stay came in at 57 per cent for three days/two nights, 40 per cent for four days/three nights, and 3 per cent for more than four days (for over 50 guests).

Published : September 09, 2021