By Sun Narin
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in New Dehli says that the number of Indian tourists in Thailand is up to 552300, increasing 36.21 percent in the first half of 2011 comparing to last year.
Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, the director of TAT New Delhi Office, says that the excellent strength of the Indian economy is the major reason leading to the increase of tourists in Thailand, following the increased accessibility between the two countries.
“Indian people have more disposable income to travel. This is why there is a demand for international travel and now there are a lot of interesting places in Thailand that the tourists can enjoy for their holiday,” he said.
Recently, Bangkok Airways is likely to start running six flights a week between Mumbai and Bangkok to boost Indian tourists flow to Thailand. More airlines are flying to Thailand than ever before. The imminent launch of IndiGo flights from New Delhi to Thailand will be on 8 September 2011. There will be direct flights from Phuket to Kolkata in the mid-2012, he adds.
Kolkata has seen the remarkable increasing tourists to Thailand and 45 percent of passengers flying from Kolkata to Thailand came to Phuket. According to the Royal Thai Consulate General in Kolkata, the number of Indian tourists in the first half of 2011 is up to 26200 increasing 71.6 percent comparing to last year (18750).
Mr. Panupat Chavananikul, the consul in Kolkata said that: “Consulate in Kolkata is always working together to boost up the number of Indian tourists from time to time. Kolkata itself, we do have a function called “Destination Thailand” that will be held annually to promote Thailand tourism.
Last year, there were around 791,185 Indian tourists to Thailand. Most travelers from India to Thailand go for tourism. The percentage is around 60% for leisure and 40% for business, according to TNT.
“Thailand will expect the number will increase to 1052000 in 2012,” he says.
In July 2011, during the visit of the governor of Trang Province in Kolkata, he suggested Indian tourists to visit underwater wedding in Trang Province in southern Thailand. The underwater wedding is generally for western couples seeking a novel way to exchange vows.
Thailand covers the tropical island paradise of Ko Samui in the Gulf of Thailand which is attractive to everyone, magnificent beaches of Chaweng and Lamai, the
Big Buddha Beach, Wat Phra Yai, Laem So pagoda, Grandmother and Grandfather
Rocks, and Hin Lat Waterfall.
Thailand is keen to work with tourism authorities in India to ensure flight connectivity, lower airfares and cheaper hotels to make India and Thailand among the most preferred destinations.
Nearly 60,000 Thai visited India last year, of which 80 per cent were Buddhist pilgrims.