Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has promoted country’s latest tourism promotion campaign “2015 Discover Thainess” at the largest Spanish travel trade fair, FITUR 2015, held between 28 January and 1 February, 2015, in Madrid.
This year, TAT hosted nine tour operators, two hotels, two airlines, and one travel-related company exhibiting at the Thai pavilion. Visitors of the pavilion enjoyed a Thai massage demonstration by award-winning masseuses, had their name written in Thai calligraphic script and get a taste of some “Songkran Festival” activities.
Spain is an important source of visitor arrivals. In 2013, Thailand recorded 123,084 visitors from Spain, an increase of 8.79 % over 2012, generating an estimated 7.09 billion Baht (or about 175 million Euro) in tourism income. In the same year, Spanish visitors had an average length of stay of 15 days and daily expenditure per person of 3,815 Baht (or about 94 Euro).
In 2014, Spanish visitor arrivals to Thailand from January to December totaled about 116,555. However, in December, Thailand welcomed 10,086 Spanish tourists, an increase by 8.37% over the same period of 2013. In 2015, TAT is projecting 144,000 Spanish visitors.
TAT surveys show that the top destinations for Spanish visitors include Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Samui and Krabi. TAT is also seeing Spanish visitors venturing to new destinations; such as, Mae Hong Son and Trat.
This year, the “2015 Discover Thainess” campaign aims at offering tourists the chance to experience the distinct entity and characteristic of the Thai people and the nation’s cultural assets which can be characterised in seven unique aspects: Thai food, Thai arts, Thai way of life, Thai wellness, Thai festivities, Thai wisdom and Thai fun. The word ‘Thainess” is a way to describe Thailand’s unique cultural treasures and the Thai way of happiness.
In line with the campaign, TAT is recommending 12 hidden gems – emerging new provincial destinations displaying the charm of Thai way of life that Spanish tourists should not miss, especially repeat travellers. All these places are renowned for their unique history, culture and lifestyle. For example:
Northeast: Buri Ram and Loei – Loei is close to the border with Thailand’s neighbour, Lao PDR. while Buri Ram is on the border with Cambodia. Visitors can now drive across both borders.
North: Phetchabun, Lampang, and Nan: These provinces are important stopovers on the route to Chiang Mai in North Thailand.
East: Chanthaburi and Trat: These are also emerging provinces close to the border with Cambodia. Visitors can now drive across the border to Cambodia.
South: Trang, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Chumphon: These provinces in Southern Thailand boast beautiful beaches and wonderful new boutique hotels.
Central: Samut Songkhram and Ratchaburi: These are culturally-rich provinces on the route to the popular seaside resort of Cha-am/Hua Hin.