The Tourism Authority of Thailand launched a new communication campaign at the Arabian Travel Market this week.  

ATM started on Monday at the Dubai World Trade Center in the United Arab Emirates, and ends on Thursday. 

ATM is a significant annual event in the tourism industry, providing a global platform for travel professionals to network and establish partnerships with a focus on unlocking business opportunities within the Middle East.  

Biggest spenders

Thailand’s involvement in ATM underscores its commitment to enhancing its presence in the Middle Eastern market.  

A TAT survey released in March, which involved 30,054 tourists, revealed tourists from the Middle East are its biggest spenders. 

Tourists from the Middle East spent an average of THB88,512, about USD2,497, per trip in Thailand last year. Coming in second were those from Oceania who spent around BHT64,860 per trip. Average spending per trip rose to BHT50,900, up from previous years. 

In 2023, Thailand welcomed 28 million visitors, generating a revenue of BHT1.2 trillion. Visitors from the Middle East numbered 651,049, representing a 28% increase compared to pre-COVID levels in 2019.

“Amazing Thailand: Your Stories Never End”

TAT’s latest campaign is called “Amazing Thailand: Your Stories Never End”. The campaign, launched on Monday, aims to inspire travelers to create lasting memories and meaningful experiences in Thailand. 

The Thai pavilion showcased a contingent of 64 Thai exhibitors at ATM. 

“This is Thailand’s 24th year of participation in the Arabian Travel Market,” said TAT Governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool.  

“This year also marks the first time that TAT and the Phuket Tourist Association have strengthened cooperation in presenting exhibitors from Phuket in a dedicated zone under the umbrella of the Thai pavilion.” 

Various regions represented

Phuket’s involvement at ATM aims to highlight the island’s appeal as a top destination for visitors from the Middle East and around the world. 

Phuket’s tourism draw is based on its stunning beaches, world-class resorts, and luxury amenities. The island is known for its vibrant nightlife, water sports, and cultural experiences, making it an attractive destination for a variety of travelers, including families, honeymooners, and adventure seekers. Additionally, Phuket’s culinary scene and wellness offerings further bolster its appeal. 

The Thai exhibitors at ATM represented various Thai regions, with 36 from Phuket, 22 from Bangkok, three from Krabi, two from Chon Buri, and one from Surat Thani. 

The pavilion comprises 40 hotels, 11 destination management companies, three wellness and medical service institutes, eight attractions and theme parks, and the Thailand Privilege Card. 

TAT’s survey released in March noted that foreign tourists have increased their spending on accommodation post-pandemic, showing a preference for luxury hotels or resorts despite higher airfares. 

“Thailand’s presence this year has been strengthened with a very good mix of exhibitors that cater to different customer bases of the Middle East market, especially the established family market and the growing shopping and luxury segments,” said Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

“The strong presence of Phuket underpins its commitment to boost the destinations’ profile as a destination for visitors from the Middle East.” 

Eye on the horizon

During ATM 2024, TAT plans to sign a strategic partnership agreement with dnata Travel and conduct meet-and-greet sessions with Emirates Airlines, WEGO, and Qatar Airways. Additionally, there will be interviews with local media outlets. 

TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications Nithee Seeprae noted the campaign’s focus on the kingdom’s 5F soft-power foundations – food, film, festival, fight, and fashion – to enhance tourism products and services. 

For 2024, TAT aims to generate BHT3.000 trillion in tourism revenue, with BHT1.920 trillion from international tourism and BHT1.080 trillion from domestic tourism. The authority targets over 1.11 million travelers from the Middle East, contributing over BHT106.00 billion in revenue. 

Other national tourism board attendees of ATM included The Ministry of Tourism & Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia and Tourism Promotions Board Philippines.