TAT helps Pattaya firms target ‘high-end’ foreign tourists

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Hotel and tour operators learned what high-income tourists want while staying in Thailand in a seminar aimed at helping Pattaya businesses prepare for the ASEAN Economic Community.

The “High-End ASEAN, China, India, and Russia” workshop at the Hard Rock Hotel Jan. 22 was organized to disseminate research findings on the needs and behavior of tourists in the ASEAN region and China, India and Russia to help tourism-related companies drive marketing plans in unison and allow government agencies to support development of their products and services.

Tourism Authority of Thailand advisor Apichart Intharapongpan noted that the plunge in Russian tourists to Thailand has forced both the public and private sectors to adjust their plans.Tourism Authority of Thailand advisor Apichart Intharapongpan noted that the plunge in Russian tourists to Thailand has forced both the public and private sectors to adjust their plans.

Tourism Authority of Thailand advisor Apichart Intharapongpan noted that the plunge in Russian tourists to Thailand has forced both the public and private sectors to adjust their plans. TAT previously announced it planned to go after “high-end” tourists to replace the Russian masses. The seminar was organized to help hoteliers and travel agents do that as well.

Speakers included Pat Saengjan, the Austrian-educated former head of In-Touch Marketing Research & Consultancy and now director of TAT’s Asian Tourism Market project; and Yuvadee Nirattakun, the Italian-educated director of TAT’s Market Research Division.

Apichart noted the ASEAN region had more than 100 million tourists in 2014, 6.6 million of whom traveled to Thailand, accounting for 26.7 percent of the country’s foreign tourists.

China remained Thailand’s biggest market, with 4.6 million visitors in 2014 and an 18.7 percent market share.

Russia, despite its currency problems, still sent 1.6 million tourists to Thailand, accounting for 6.5 percent of all Thailand’s foreign visitors. Russia remains an important market for Thailand and topped the number of foreign tourists arrivals to Thailand in 2013, he said.

With Russian tourists falling 21-27 percent a month for the past three months, the government and tourism related companies in Pattaya are following the economic situation closely in order to respond quickly and adjust plans to support tourists from high-end markets in other countries, particularly ASEAN, China and India, Apichart said.

The Market Research Division is working with the TAT Pattaya office and various agencies to conduct marketing research for the hosting of in-depth marketing seminars, he said.

Country Potential high-end tourists Total population International tourists
Singapore 2,717,681 5,353,494 3,990,721
Indonesia 2,713,460 251,160,124 9,588,198
Malaysia 2,285,541 29,179,952 10,831,949
Philippines 1,144,761 105,725,644 6,431,243
Vietnam 353,620 92,477,857 5,357,873
Brunei 75,386 408,786 206,968
Myanmar 57,463 54,584,650 1,156,930
Laos 18,323 3,515,402 305,377
Cambodia 7,707 14,952,665 592,853