Organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand New Delhi and Mumbai Offices, the “Wedding Planner Trip and Symposium 2014” is being organised during 23-28 March, 2014, covering Samui, Phuket, Khao Lak, Krabi, Hua Hin, Cha-am and Chiang Mai.
A seminar on “How to impress big fat Indian weddings” is to be held on 27 March, 2014, at the Centara Grand at CentralWorld, Bangkok, to allow Thai tour operators, hoteliers and service provides to better understand how to manage and handle Indian wedding parties.
Speakers at the seminar include Mr. Prabhat Jain (Mickey Jain), Managing Director, Beautiful Wedding Management, Kolkata and Recipient of the Friends of Thailand Award 2013, Mr. Sakul Intakul, World Famous Floral Artist and Ms. Runjuan Tongrut, Director of the TAT New Delhi Office. Ms. Pissacha Hemvachiravarakorn, TV host, Money Channel, Thailand will be moderator.
The seminar will be followed by a table top sales session to discuss business opportunities between the two groups.
TAT Governor Thawatchai Arunyik said, “Weddings and honeymoons are one of the most popular niche-market segments from India, which is already one of our top visitor generating markets. Hence, this symposium covers both the quality and quantity aspects of our marketing strategy for 2014.”
In recent years, Thailand has become hugely popular among Indian wedding couples and honeymooners. Many Indian couples are choosing to tie the knot in a land renowned for its sense of grace and style, following customs and ceremonies with rich roots in Buddhist culture. The secluded, all-inclusive resorts are perfect for honeymoons.
To ensure that the hosted wedding planners get the possible update in the limited time available, TAT divided the Indian executives into five groups covering the following:
Chiang Mai: Hotel Shangri-La, DharaDevi, Anantara, Royal Flora, Handicraft Village, Khum Khantoke (Thai traditional northern food), and Chiang Mai Convention Centre.
Ko Samui; Muang Samui Villas and Suites, Banyan Tree Samui, The Library Samui, W Retreat Ko Samui, The Treasure, Tamarind Springs Spa, and Amazing Stone.
Phuket-Khao Lak; Hilton Hotel Karon Beach, Le Meridien, Centara Grand Phuket, Angsana Laguna Phuket and Banyan Tree Phuket, Khao Lak, Sentido Khao Lak, JW Marriott Khao Lak, Villa Apsara, and Le Meridien Khao Lak.
Krabi: In Krabi, Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort, Beyond Resort Krabi, Island Hopping, Rai Le Beach, Rayavadee Krabi and Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton, The Tub Kaak Beach Resort, and Red Ginger.
Hua Hin-Cha Am: In Hua Hin, the group will do some hotel inspections for venue of Indian wedding. In Bangkok, they will stay at the Siam Kempinski Hotel and do some hotel inspections at the Shangri-La and Lebua Bangkok.
In Bangkok, the various hotels providing complimentary accommodation and hosting inspections include the Dusit Thani, Montien Riverside, Sukhothai, Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit, Anantara Riverside Bangkok, The Peninsula, Centara Grand at CentralWorld, St. Regis, Grand Hyatt Erawan, Plaza Athenee, Four Seasons, and Mandarin Oriental.
India is today the biggest source market for visitors from South Asia and one of Thailand’s fastest growing source markets. In 2013, Indian visitors to Thailand totalled 1,049,856, up 3.61% over 2012; it is one of seven countries generating more than one-million arrivals. TAT is expecting 1,070,000 Indian visitors to Thailand, generating an estimated 45.8 billion Baht in tourism revenue in 2014.
Indian leisure travellers generally go shopping and sightseeing in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and Ko Samui, with an increasing number also heading to Krabi, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, and Kanchanaburi. Recent years have also shown a marked rise in the number of Indian weddings and golfers from the Subcontinent in Thailand.
TAT is expecting that Indian arrivals across all customer and market segments will grow exponentially as the free-trade agreements between India and ASEAN are implemented. If business and MICE travel booms, leisure visitors are not far behind.