The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) formally launched its new tourism marketing campaign ‘Open to the New Shades’ in Vietnam, a rapidly rising source market for the Thai tourism industry. A live demonstration of Muay Thai Boxing by well-known pugilist Buakaw Banchamek was one of the highlights of the launch held at the Opera House. Presided over by Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, the event was attended by media and tour operators from Vietnam, Lao PDR and Cambodia.
The “Open to the New Shades” campaign reflects the unique characteristic of the Thai people to welcome visitors from all around the world, regardless of any preference. It is a genuine form of “Thainess” and inclusive tourism, which is especially important in this day and age.
The concept can be customised to reach many different customer segments; such as, Luxury Travellers, Weddings and Honeymooners, Women, Families and Gen Y.
Mr. Yuthasak said “Muay Thai boxing is just as a unique part of our culture and heritage as Thai cuisine. We felt the Vietnamese people are well placed to enhance their sense of appreciation of this ancient Thai martial art and gain a deeper understanding of its philosophy and techniques.”
TAT opened an office in Ho Chi Minh City on 2 October, 2007. Today, travel between Thailand and Vietnam is booming in both directions, thanks to close geographical proximity, visa-free access and growing airline connections.
The Vietnamese middle class has grown with good spending power. They like to travel abroad during the school holidays and long weekends. Market research shows that Vietnamese love Thailand for its shopping, cuisine, family attractions, beautiful beach resorts, year-round good weather and quality products.
From January to November 2017, Vietnamese visitors to Thailand totalled 867,712, up by 12.50% over the same period of 2016, generating an estimated 27.53 billion Baht in tourism income, up by 15.34%.
The number of Thais visiting Vietnam is also growing at an astoundingly high rate. From January to October 2017, Thai visitor arrivals in Vietnam totalled 239,161, up 112.7% over the same period of 2016. Vietnam is now the second most popular destination in the Greater Mekong Subregion for Thai visitors, after Lao PDR.
On the aviation front, long-standing daily flights by Vietnam Airlines, Thai Airways International and Bangkok Airways have been supplemented by new low-cost airlines.
VietJet has launched direct flights linking Ho Chi Minh to Phuket and Chiang Mai, and Dalat to Bangkok. JetStar Asia Pacific has direct flights between Quang Binh and Chiang Mai. These flights do not benefit just the Thai and Vietnamese people, but also serve the large expatriate communities in both countries.