March 25, 2014 00:00 By Bamrung Amnatcharoenrit
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is preparing to define its marketing plan for 2015 by analysing possible economic risks in three major markets: Japan, China and India.
The authority has assigned its planning department to start analysing economic policies in the three nations, including an increase in value-added tax in Japan, a weaker yuan in China, and slower economic performance of India, said TAT governor Thawatchai Arunyik.
Its analysis is aimed at getting clearer information before defining marketing strategy, as the economic performance in those three countries will have an impact on the Thai tourism industry. Then a flexible market-ing plan will be mapped out for 2015 that will look for optional markets.
Manit Boonchim, the TAT’s executive director for planning, said that if the political impasse is solved and the situation returns to normal, the 2015 projection for tourism revenue of Bt2.2 trillion will be achievable if the marketing plan is kept flexible enough to suit each market.
India is one example. Even as its economy slows, the TAT hopes arrivals from this market will grow by 8-10 per cent by focusing more on high-spending tourists, especially wedding groups.
As for China, Manit said the weakening yuan had not yet had a big impact on Thai tourism. Chinese tourists have not lost out much on currency exchange. However, the TAT will keep monitoring this because the number of free independent travellers from China is on the rise, and this group has high spending power.
Overall next year, the TAT will continue concentrating on key Asian markets, hoping for performance higher than this year’s. These also include Malaysia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
Separately, the TAT yesterday announced it would use the honeymoon market to attract more Americans here as the US economy gets on the recovery path. This group spends two or three times as much as leisure tourists, averaging Bt60,000 per trip excluding airfare.
Data show that 2.4 million American couples honeymooned overseas last year, and 3 per cent of them, or about 72,000 couples, went to Asia. The top five destinations in Asia were Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Maldives and Cambodia.