Madame Tussaud sets up shop in Bangkok
BANGKOK, 17 December 2010 — Bangkok’s teenage population will discover that the city’s latest attraction, Madame Tussauds, features their favourite TV stars on centre stage ahead of the usual wax work icons, Prince Diana and Albert Einstein.
A prime target for the new attraction is the city’s young generation, who are expected to visit the famous wax work in their droves to ogle the life-like images of their local TV stars.
Instead, during the official opening presentation, early December, the spotlight shone on the uncanny, almost perfect images, of Ken Theeradej Wongpuapan and Ann Thongprasom, Thailand’s home grown TV soap stars.
Located in the up-scale Siam Discovery Centre this is the first museum branch in Southeast Asia and the company’s 10th exhibition, worldwide.
The first priority is to draw domestic tourists, students and expatriate families, resident in Bangkok, but in the long-run profits will come from attracting international tourists. Tour groups from Southeast Asia are a priority and this is reflected in the images on display.
“We will aim for the domestic and Southeast Asian markets, such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore over six to eight months,” said marketing manager, Ornuma Tisapramotkul. “Our customers will be repeat tourists who visit Thailand for entertainment and shopping,” she added.
“In the medium-term, we will still focus on Asian markets shifting to China and India,” she said.
She declined to provide details of travel agency rates saying interested travel agents should contact her directly.
Travel agencies are an important business pipeline for the attraction as they govern which attractions their customers visit on what is usually a very tight schedule in Bangkok.
As a benchmark most tourist attractions that work with Bangkok’s inbound tour operators are prepared to discount by 35 to 40% on walk-in rates.
The museum features more than 70 wax images in 10 exhibit rooms and follows the pattern of the company’s museums elsewhere displaying images of famous people some historical and some just popular with a smattering of the infamous and weird.
The wax models on display in Bangkok took three to four months to create at an estimated cost of Bt7 to Bt8 million each. The skeleton is made from fibreglass with a wax covering, custom made to the person’s dimensions and looks. Tussauds even uses genuine hair to add reality to its images.
The museum opens daily, 1000 to 2100, and charges Bt700 for adults and Bt500 for children. The attraction promotes itself as a single pricing attraction that charges tourists and Thais the same price. This is a refreshing example that should be adopted by all tourist attractions including those run by government. It has a start-up investment of Bt500 million and the exhibits cover 3,000 sq m of floor space.