Special Report: TAT hopes to boost domestic tourism during Valentine’s month


The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is gearing up to promote Valentine’s Day events across the country in a bid to make up for shrinking number of international tourist arrivals this month. 

TAT’s deputy governor for domestic marketing Thawatchai Arunyik said the agency is now focused on boosting domestic tourism after tourists from many countries were driven away by rising political tension and strings of violent attacks.

Activities to be held during the month of love include southern holiday packages, underwater wedding festival and elephant-themed wedding packages in provinces all over Thailand.

Thai Airways International joined hands with Thai AirAsia in hosting the “Fly Me to the South” campaign. Visitors will receive a discount on tour packages, air tickets and accommodations when flying to southern provinces during February 7-19. The TAT expects 20,000 travelers to take part in the campaign.

Trang’s underwater wedding festival, internationally recognized for its uniqueness, will also be held for the 18th consecutive time during February 10-12. The mass underwater wedding ceremonies are the biggest in the world. Currently 30 couples have signed up to tie the knots at the event.

In Thailand’s upper parts, Chiang Mai will play host to a flora festival and to Lanna-style weddings on elephants’ backs in the beginning of February. Other couple-themed events include mass weddings held in the sea of lotus in Udon Thani and elephant-back weddings in Surin on Valentine’s Day.

In addition, the TAT in collaboration with Suvarnabhumi Airport will be setting up a welcoming booth for lovers and honeymooners arriving in Thailand during February. Souvenirs and photos will be given to the lovebirds at the booth as well.

Mr Thawatchai added that even though the tourism market has been hampered by ongoing protests and the enforcement of the emergency decree, the market for Indian weddings continues to generate revenue.

The latest figures suggest that Indian visitors purchased a total of 1,285 wedding packages, with each person expected to spend up to 10,000 baht a day. The TAT usually offers many incentives to Indians for weddings. The agency reported that in general, the average spend for an Indian wedding in Thailand is 10 million baht.