BANGKOK, 30 January 2015: More direct flights from Japan to Thailand will help to boost tourist arrivals according to Tourism Authority of Thailand Osaka office director, Sukanya Sirikanjanakul, who spoke to Association of Thai Travel Agents and Thai Hotels Association members, through a Skype live cast, Wednesday.
“The upcoming NokScoot will offer more choices for travellers and Thai AirAsia X will increase flights late March… Japan Airlines started a daily flight on the Nagoya-Bangkok route last December after a three-year suspension.”
Starting 26 March, Thai AirAsia X flights to Tokyo Narita International Airport will increase to two daily from one daily. Flights from Bangkok to Osaka Kansai International Airtport will also increase from five weekly to daily.
“Due to the decline of the yen, Japanese tourists will be more cautious when selecting a short-haul destination for travel.”
The Japanese outbound market, last year, recorded 16.9 million short of the target 17.9 million, the director said.
The director expects trips will reach 1.5 million, this year, compared to 1.26 million last year.
TAT Beijing director, Bangonrat Shinaprayoon, said Chinese tourists remain Thailand top tourism market but there is a shift to quality tourism.
“China is a major outbound market with 115 million visits worldwide, last year.
“Around 60% are FIT from major cities who organise their own travel programme relying on social media and smartphone applications rather than tour operators.”
Chinese outbound market is expected to grow 15% this year, she said.
TAT London office director, Teerasil Tapen, said almost 70% of British tourists travel to Thailand each year are repeaters.
“The UK has a steady growth pattern.”
He added: “This year, TAT will expand and tap smaller secondary cities after concentrating on London to Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.”
TAT Moscow director, Eumporn Jiragalwisul, said:“The economic crisis will affect the Russian outbound market…the number of Russian to Thailand will drop to 1.2 to 1.3 million trips this year compared to 1.6 million last year.”
To encourage all major markets, TAT directors agreed that Thailand has to ensure safety and security, tighten product and service quality and study the latest tourist trends.