February 6, 2013: The Tourism Authority of Thailand New Delhi office organised “A Million Thanks Evening” on 15 January 2013 to thank the Indian travel trade for helping the Thai tourism industry cross an important milestone, the one-million Indian arrivals to Thailand in 2012.
A number of senior TAT officials flew in from Bangkok for this special event, including TAT Governor Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni; Deputy Governor Mr. Sansern Ngaorungsi; Director ASEAN, South Asia and South Pacific Market Division Mr. Phanom Kaributra; Director TAT Mumbai Mr. Sethaphan Bhuddani, and Director TAT New Delhi Ms. Runjuan Tongrut. The guest of honour was Thai Ambassador to India Mr. Pisan Manawapat.
From the Indian side, Mr. Amitabh Kant, the former joint secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India who is now CEO & Managing Director of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation graced the occasion. The turnout of more than 200 guests included senior Indian travel agents, corporates, wedding planners and media as well as representatives of 54 Thai companies who were in New Delhi at the time to participate in SATTE 2013, a leading Indian travel show.
The TAT also flew in the famous Thai band Koh Mr. Saxman from Bangkok to provide foot-tapping entertainment. The evening ended with several lucky draws with trips to Thailand.
In 2012, Indian arrivals to Thailand totalled 1,015,865, up 11% over 2011. In addition to normal leisure travellers and group tours, the Indian tourists include growing numbers of families, wedding celebrations and honeymooners, golfers, upmarket women travellers, film-crews and MICE delegates. Indian travellers are also venturing beyond the usual Bangkok-Pattaya route favoured by first-time travellers and heading for Krabi, Samui, Phuket, Khao Yai, Hua Hin, Koh Chang, Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya.
Said Mr. Suraphon,“It was appropriate for us to organise this special evening to thank all the members of the Indian travel trade who have helped us achieve this one-million milestone. We are forecasting continued growth from India well into the future, but it will not be possible without the help and support of the Indian travel trade.”