Monsoon Weddings and Incentives: Indian market to Thailand remains strong

New Delhi/Bangkok – Thailand remains one of the most popular tourist destinations for travellers from India, especially for niche incentive tourists and parties coming for weddings and honeymoons with many such groups confirming trips to the kingdom over the next couple of months.

At least three large incentive groups with 1,600 delegates in total and four large wedding groups with more than 1,500 guests have either already attended or confirmed their trips to Thailand between May and September 2014, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) New Delhi Office.

Incentives – a total of 150 business travellers attended the Prudent Group’s meeting in Bangkok and enjoyed an incentive travel to Pattaya from 23 – 28 May 2014. Later this month (June 2014), some 250 representatives of CNBC TV will be travelling from India to join its network meeting in Bangkok.

Another large group comprising some 1,200 members of the Travel Agent Federation in India (TAFI) will be coming to Bangkok for their annual conference in September.

Weddings – Hua Hin hosted a wedding celebration from 27-29 May 2014 with 400 guests flown in from India. From 11-14 June 2014, another wedding party with at least 120 guests from India has confirmed to be held at Indigo Pearl Phuket. In July, Thailand will have the chance to welcome two wedding parties from India: a group of 400 guests at Sheraton Hua Hin Resort and Spa and another 600-person party at Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok Hotel.

Ms. Runjuan Tongrut, Director of the TAT New Delhi Office said, “Large groups such as these bring in revenue and enhance Thailand’s status as a MICE and wedding destination. Incentive groups, weddings and honeymoons have become one of the most popular niche tourist segments of Thailand’s tourism in recent years, and the Indian market makes up a large percentage of this in terms of numbers of visitors and money spent.”

Earlier this year in March, the TAT organised a symposium inviting Indian wedding planners and leading event organisers to explore Thailand’s top tourist destinations and learn of tourism products that would appeal to Indian couples planning to wed.

Ms. Runjuan said, “The March 2014’s wedding planner trip and symposium which covered both the quality and quantity aspects of Indian market has proven to be a tremendous success. Many bookings and trips were confirmed by large Indian groups wanting to celebrate weddings in Thailand and this shows that our recent strategies to attract high-quality Indian travellers have really paid off.”

India is one of Thailand’s fastest growing source markets and the biggest market from South Asia. In 2013, Indian visitors to Thailand totalled 1,049,856, up 3.61 per cent over 2012. TAT is expecting 1,070,000 Indian visitors to Thailand, generating an estimated 45.8 billion baht in tourism revenue in 2014.