Thailand is one of the Top 3 destinations Indians say they want to visit soon, according to surveys on Subcontinent’s travel preferences.
The most recent survey of 4,000 people conducted by Thomas Cook discovered that 46 percent wanted to travel internationally.
Alongside Thailand, the three most coveted destinations were the United Arab Emirates and the Maldives. An earlier survey in April by InterMiles with 11,500 Indians answering found that 65 percent planned a trip overseas.
“Thailand enjoyed status as a very popular destination for Indian travelers before the pandemic, and it is extremely encouraging to see this appeal looks likely to continue once we reopen to the Indian market,” said Tourism Authority of Thailand Gov. Yuthasak Supasorn.
“In the meantime, one of the priorities for TAT in India is ensuring travelers there of the various health and safety measures; such as, the SHA standards, that have been employed by Thailand for all visitors.”
Looking ahead, the TAT is working with two possible scenarios on the inbound Indian market based on seat capacity and estimated tourist arrivals from Oct. 1-Dec. 31, without quarantine.
The first of these scenarios envisions commercial flights being resumed from the major cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, which would result in 24,500 Indians visiting Thailand during the 14-week period and generating income of 1.1 billion baht.
The second envisions weekly charter flights to Thailand from New Delhi and Mumbai in place of commercial flights, resulting in 4,200 Indians visiting and generating income of 187.7 million baht.
The revenue estimation is based on 2019 records that Indian travelers spent on average seven days on holidays with a trip expenditure of 44,688 baht per person.
Meanwhile, the most recent survey conducted by the TAT Mumbai and New Delhi offices of 300 travel agents across India found that 94 percent confirmed pent-up demand from Indian travelers to Thailand once the country reopens to tourism. Some 80 percent said Indian travelers spent on average 7 days on holidays, and placed priorities on safety and health (33 percent), tourism activities (25 percent), and the rest on attractive prices.
However, the current pilot reopening programs; such as, the “Phuket Sandbox” and “Samui Sandbox”, were cited as unattractive to Indian travelers, due in part to their short holiday period (7 days).
Market Outlook for 2022
Depending on whether Thailand will reopen to Indian travelers in the last quarter of this year, the TAT Mumbai and New Delhi offices continue to place focus on the first movers, including golf, wedding and millennials.
Phuket remains the top destinations for Indian weddings, followed by Hua Hin, Rayong, and Samui. An Indian wedding, known for their extravaganza feast, cost on average 5-6 million baht with 200-300 participants.
Indian Market Overview Pre-Pandemic: All segments
In 2019, a total of 1.96 million Indians traveled to Thailand, generating tourism income of just over 80 million baht. In term of arrivals, this represented a growth of 25.48 percent, and in income a growth of 19.96 percent. At this time, there were more than 300 weekly flights to Thailand from India, while airlines GoAir and IndiGo also opened direct links to Phuket resulting in more Indian tourists visiting there.
Results from a TAT survey on the Indian market for 2019 showed that 94 percent of travel agents foresaw a demand for travel to Thailand. Escorted groups constitute the largest type of traveler who would visit Thailand in 2021-22 at 35 percent, followed by small groups at 30 percent, couples and honeymooners at 20 percent, and families with children at 15 percent.
The average length of stay was less than seven days (80 percent of survey respondents), between seven and 14 days (15 percent), and 30 days or more (5 percent). The factors considered in travelling to Thailand were health, hygiene and safety (33 percent of respondents), connectivity (25 percent), competitive pricing (17 percent), and others (25 percent).
From the survey, in terms of considering market segments to be promoted, it was deducted this should be mid-market at 34 percent, luxury at 27 percent, budget at 24 percent, and all segments at 15 percent.
Wedding Market Segment
Another TAT survey was conducted on the Indian wedding market on leading destination wedding planners from Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Surat, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Vadodara, Goa, and Chennai. It showed that Phuket and Krabi were the destinations most considered for a wedding (at 72.4 percent), followed next by Hua Hin and Rayong (65.5 percent), Samui (43.1 percent), Bangkok (25.9 percent), Pattaya (22.4 percent), and others (5.2 percent).
The time period most considered for a wedding in Thailand was January-June 2022 and July-December next year, both at 55.2 percent, followed by November-December 2021, (34.5 percent) and September-October 2021 (8.6 percent).
In terms of the wedding size and the associated room requirements, the largest portion was for 50-100 rooms (at 51.7 percent), followed by 101-150 rooms (43.1 percent), above 150 rooms (15.5 percent), and less than 50 rooms (6.9 percent).
Length of stay came in at 57 percent for three days/two nights, 40 percent for four days/three nights, and 3 percent for more than four days (for more than 50 guests).