London, 6 October, 2014 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand UK office has been conferred the Star Asia Tourist Office award in the “Dream Destination” category in the annual ceremony organised by Travel Bulletin Magazine, a popular travel magazine in UK.
Mr. Christopher Lee, Marketing Advisor for TAT UK and Ireland office, accepted the award on behalf of the TAT at the ceremony organised at The Landmark London, on 8 September 2014.
Now in their 18th year, the Travel Bulletin Star Awards recognise the creativity and performance of various travel and tourism industry companies and national tourism offices based in the UK. The awards are conferred in five categories: Dream Destination, Smooth Operators, Sea Captains, High Fliers and Land Lords. They were judged by a survey of tourism operators and reader’s opinions across the UK during 25 April to 6 June 2014.
Mr. Teerasil Tapen, Director of TAT London Office said, “We are pleased to see our efforts being recognised by a leading travel publication. There is intense tourism competition across Europe and UK, and we have to exert utmost efforts to maintain our market share. The fact that arrivals from the UK to Thailand have grown consistently all through this year is proof that our plans and strategies are paying off.”
The United Kingdom is now Thailand’s second largest market out of Europe. In 2013, Thailand welcomed 905,024 UK visitors, up 3.66 percent over 2012. In January – August 2014, Thailand received 609,731 UK visitor arrivals, up 3.17 percent.
In 2013, UK visitors had an average length of stay of roughly 17.80 days per person per visit, well above the 10-day average of all visitors to Thailand. Their average daily expenditure is 3,970 Baht which generated a total of about 59 billion Baht in foreign exchange revenue.
In recent years, British visitors have begun coming to Thailand all year around rather than just in the winter months. This shows that the TAT is making progress in its efforts to reduce the seasonality factor. Another interesting statistic from the UK market is that in 2013, a total of 65 percent were repeat visitors and 91 percent were FIT.
Many UK tourists enjoy leisure and beach activities, soft adventure, scuba diving, snorkelling, trekking, visiting historical places, and learning Thai cooking. As such, the TAT marketing team in London works closely with service providers and tour operators to provide more ‘learning’ tour programmes to British visitors.
On the aviation front, as of October 2014, there were 27 direct scheduled flights per week between Bangkok and London being operated by three airlines – THAI Airways International, British Airways and Eva Airways. Other airlines also bring visitors to Thailand through other points of UK and intermediary hubs like Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.
TAT London is looking to put more promotional emphasis on emerging resorts such as Krabi, Khao Lak and Ko Chang together with a number of the smaller islands. It has targeted the luxury market via dedicated brochures launched in partnership with tour operators Six Star Holidays, Elegant Resorts and Travelbag. There is also increasing interest in special interest Thainess products such as Muay Thai, Thai Food and Cooking and Spa and Wellness.