Thailand bagged 5 awards – 1. Best Country, 2. Best Wedding Destination, Runner up Awards – 3. Bangkok -Best City, 4. Best Leisure Destination, and 5. Best Family Destination.
This is the third year in a row that Thailand has received the best country and best wedding destination awards from Travel + Leisure. Readers of the magazine could cast their votes both through the magazine and online in 2013 over a period of 5 months.
Thailand’s pristine beaches, tropical climate, misty mountains, diverse and fascinating culture, hospitable people, exotic cuisine, and world class luxury hotels and resorts attract visitors and keep bringing them back, so much that it features among the most popular tourist destinations in South East Asia.
According to Ms. Runjuan Tongrut, Director of the TAT New Delhi Office, “Every year over 100 Indian weddings are held in various exotic Thai locations. Not only from India, couples from all over the world choose Thailand for their dream wedding and honeymoon. Other Indian high-octane celebrations; such as, birthdays, anniversaries, and graduation parties as well as family re-unions, are a common feature in Thailand.
Recently, the TAT Mumbai and New Delhi Offices organised the “Wedding Planner Trip and Symposium 2014” during 23-28 March, 2014, in Thailand. More than 40 senior executives representing India’s leading wedding planners and event organisers were invited as part of a comprehensive survey of the country’s top destinations, venues and services.
The Symposium helped enhance the educational knowledge base of many Thai hotels, tour operators and suppliers of products and services, all of whom are keen to ensure the highest quality of delivery standards for this very demanding niche market.
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 for 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.