TAT renews push for ‘quality tourists’

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Pattaya office met with Chinese tour companies to encourage them to sell “quality’ holidays to “quality” tourists.

Srisuda Wanpinnosak, deputy governor of marketing for TAT’s Asia-Pacific region.
Srisuda Wanpinnosak, deputy governor of marketing for TAT’s Asia-Pacific region.

Srisuda Wanpinnosak, deputy governor of marketing for TAT’s Asia-Pacific region, hosted the Nov. 2 Quality Product Manager Meeting at the Dusit Thani Hotel with 86 Chinese companies and 93 Thai tour agencies from Pattaya, Rayong and Chantaburi.

The aim of the meeting was to exchange experiences in product marketing, business management and tourism services, as well as share opinions on how to attract quality tourists from Southeast Asia and Europe.

For years, “quality tourist” has been TAT’s buzzword for high-income tourists willing to pay top dollar to visit Thailand. While past efforts have prioritized western families and jet-setters over single male visitors to Pattaya, the renewed push focused on China comes after Thailand banned “zero-baht” tours offering low-income mainlanders holidays for little or no money down.

Srisuda said the crackdown had a “small impact” on tourism, but did not cause a dramatic drop in arrivals or occupancy rates.

However, in Pattaya, hotel occupancy had dropped to the 30-percent range, other tourism industry executives said.

The product fair unveiled new promotions, updated agents on products and offered “table top” instant package sales.

Thai tour operators took the opportunity to propose hot items, special packages benefitting both sides. Also, both new and old tourist attractions were highlighted.

TAT said it is closely watching arrivals and booking during November and December so it can quickly adjust promotions or products if needed.