Iran, Israel top list of next target markets in PBTA 2011 tourism plan

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Pattaya business leaders are eyeing Iran, Israel and Turkey as the next target markets for Pattaya tourism.

Jamroon Vitsavachaipan, president of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association, unveiled the group’s 2011 marketing plan Jan. 3. It calls for reinforcing Pattaya’s traditional markets in Europe, but focusing most on the India, South Korea, Middle East and developing countries.

Jamroon Vitsavachaipan, President of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association.Jamroon Vitsavachaipan, President of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association.

He noted that Thailand tourism improved in the second half of 2010 and hopes that the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s sole trade show appearance in the West during 2011 – at ITB Germany – will entice tourists scared away from the kingdom by the deadly Bangkok riots to return.

But Pattaya – and Thailand as a whole – continues to prioritize developing markets over traditional tourist strongholds. The rest of the year’s marketing calendar is aimed at India (in February) and South Korea (in March) and the Middle East.

Next month, the PBTA will host a meeting to discuss attracting more tourists from Iran, Turkey and Israel. Despite the fact Jewish and Muslim tourists don’t mix well, Jamroon said businesses are attracted by their spending power.

The association also wants to participate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ travel fair in Cambodia, which will help it target tourists from the TAT’s new pet market, Indonesia, as well as Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

It also plans to work on domestic tourism, with various road shows this spring.

The PBTA is hoping to receive monetary support for its marketing plans from Pattaya and Chonburi, he said.