The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s pavilion was a standout at the Moscow Autumn Travel Industry Week, or MATIW-Leisure 2012, one of the world’s biggest leisure trade fairs. The TAT pavilion occupied 274 square meters to show off various tourism products and services from the Land of Smiles.
The highlights of the event were spa/massage and medical services. Bangkok Hospital Pattaya was selected by TAT to join the event and promote Thailand as a Medical Tourism Hub for Russians.
Neil Maniquiz (center), head of Bangkok Hospital Pattaya’s international marketing department, promotes medical tourism at the Moscow Autumn Travel Industry Week.
The first two days of the four-day event were only for trade visitors, and the rest for the public. There were 37 participants including hotels, travel agencies and other tourism-related business, while 31 buyers from Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine were invited to meet 17 Thai operators.
Thailand is one of the key tourism destinations for Russians. According to TAT, about 1.05 million Russian travelers visited Thailand last year, an increase of 63.45 percent from 2010. Also during the period, there were 101,425 travelers from nations in the Commonwealth of Independent States, the former Soviet republics including Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Turkmenistan.
This year, it is expected that the number of Russian and CIS travelers coming to Thailand will total 1.27 million, an increase of 10 percent from 2011. In the first half of this year alone, the number of Russian visitors to Thailand was recorded at 671,122, an increase of 18.72 percent year on year.
According to a TAT release, travelers from Russia and CIS nations spend Bt4,297 per day per head, with an average stay of 13.29 days at present.
However, medical treatment is also becoming popular draws for Russians. In the former category, they like to undergo beauty surgery and herbal treatments, beyond treatment for medical ailments.
“Medical and beauty treatment will be the focus of the TAT, which wants to attract quality tourists with high spending,” the TAT reported. Currently, the high number of Russians coming to Thailand is important, with quality niche travel for this market to come later.
Neil Maniquiz, head of the international marketing department of Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, welcomed the move and said after attending the leisure market in Moscow for three years, the number of Russians coming to Pattaya has increased annually.