TAT and PATA Thailand Chapter Strengthen Partnership
BY: PATA THAILAND CHAPTER
BANGKOK, April 13, 2007 --- The Tourism Authority of Thailand on Tuesday April 10 strengthened its partnership and understanding with the PATA Thailand Chapter, a joint private-public sector body representing hotels, tour operators, airlines and travel-related companies in Thailand. The TAT Governor, Ms Phornsiri Manoharn, exchanged statistical updates and views with the Chapter’s executive committee.
In the briefing, Ms Phornsiri expressed short-term concern at the downturn in international arrivals from Japan and Singapore, and from the business and meetings sectors in general, due to the current uncertain political environment in Thailand. However, tour operator members of the Chapter said that while demand from Asian markets had softened, European leisure demand was increasing to compensate. In the past, 50% of online leisure booking requests were turned down due to excess demand. With fewer business visitors, more hotel beds and airline seats were now available to holiday buyers.
The Governor told PATA Chapter leaders that the TAT did not fear competition from neighbouring countries due to Thailand’s variety. "Thailand has everything except casinos and snow," she said, adding that such variety plus Bangkok’s role as an aviation hub serving 98 airlines gave it a distinct advantage over neighbouring countries.
With over 50% of tourists to Thailand -- and over 60% of Japanese -- being repeat visitors, she said Thailand would continue to gain valuable business by being a gateway hub to the Mekong region. For example, over 87% of all visitors to Myanmar enter from Thailand, she said. In addition, the newly appointed Governor told the Chapter’s executives that the TAT would increasingly concentrate on attracting weekend shopping, dining and golf traffic from Singapore and Hong Kong.
She cited the Indian wedding market and film productions shot on location in Thailand as sectors that had potential for growth. To capitalise on emerging markets, the TAT will open offices in Moscow, Dubai and Ho Chi Minh City.
The PATA Thailand Chapter Chairman, Mr Bob James, offered the Chapter’s full support for TAT objectives, including support for the TAT’s crisis communications team.
Governor Phornsiri confirmed that the PATA Thailand Chapter would now be invited to attend tourism working groups organised by the TAT.
Pictured PATA Thailand Chairman, Mr Bob James (left, front row) presents Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor, Ms Phornsiri Manoharn, with a bouquet of flowers following the TAT-Chapter dialogue session at TAT head office in Bangkok on April 10.Links: