Thailand welcomed nearly 63,000 Irish people in 2013, a 4.5% increase on 2012, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand is forecasting growth from Europe this year of almost 7% in arrivals and 13% in revenue, said Tanes Petsuwan, Executive Director – Europe, Africa and Middle East Region, in Dublin on Monday when leading a delegation of 26 Thai hoteliers for workshops with Irish tour operators and travel agents – at which Ita Hendrick, Travelworld, and Tatiana Soukhanova, Skytours Travel, won trips to Thailand.
Highlighting TAT’s theme for 2014, ‘It Begins with the People’, Khun Tanes showed an excellent new video on Amazing Thailand and introduced TAT’s recently appointed new Director – UK, Ireland and South Africa, Teerasil Tapen.
New shopping attractions opening towards the end of this year are Central Embassy in Bangkok and Bluport in Hua Hin, while Bangkok’s newest tourist attraction is the Museum of Floral Culture in Dusit (www.floralmuseum.com).
In keeping with the theme ‘It Begins with the People’, the TAT is emphasising ‘Thainess Experiences’, including Thai cooking classes and street food, Muay Thai classes and events, the Thai way of life, and Thai wellness – as well as weddings and honeymoons, responsible tourism, and golf on the 200+ courses across the country.
Nurat Atibaedya, Director of Sales & Marketing, The Kee Resort, Phuket, gave Irish Travel Trade News a sneak preview of an interesting new resort currently under construction for a September 2015 opening and all will be revealed later this year. (Hint: it was on Khun Nurat’s tablet!)
Thailand is also the natural hub for touring the ASEAN community, including the R3A Highway that brings visitors to Laos, Kunming in China, and Myanamar, or the eastern highway connecting Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.