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Published on : Saturday, June 25, 2016
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has launched a campaign to target women travelers. TAT is keen that the destination – already famous as India’s favourite – becomes the premier choice for women travelers when they escape together for short breaks and weekends, bachelorettes, kitty parties and holidays.
The tourism board is keen to benefit from the first-mover advantage and has appointed Anusha Dandekar as its brand ambassador in India. The hip, young Aussie-born Mumbaikar, who many still remember as MTV’s VJ Anusha, was chosen for her inherent love for Thailand and the fact that she is symbolic of the exact segment that they want to target. “I have been to Thailand over 50 times during my career at MTV Asia – we shot there all the time and I’ve tried all the food. It’s one of my favourite places and despite having visited so many times, it never gets old for me,” Anusha told team TAT in a meeting that cinched the Brand Ambassador deal.
Ms Soraya Homchuen, director, Tourism Authority of Thailand – Mumbai office, says “Once a negligible proportion of Thailand’s market mix and only visiting on family holidays, today women travelers represent 30% of our arrivals from India. We would like to scale this up to 60-65% by 2022. We have done this effectively before with groups and independent travelers. About 5-7 years ago. A little less than a decade ago, Thailand was 80% GIT ie group travelers and only 20% FIT but today, FIT is about 60-70% while groups have a smaller share of the pie. With your support I am certain that we will be as successful with the women traveller’s segment.”
Why is Thailand keen to pioneer destination marketing to the Indian women traveller? Because, it is a perfect fit. According to a study conducted by Thomas Cook earlier this year, 70% of women today prefer to travel with friends versus family. Moreover, many studies have indicated that culture, cuisine, spa & wellness and shopping are the interests of these women travelers. They have also been shown to prefer to travel without a tour manager and correspondingly prefer safe, easy-to-navigate destinations. Thus, Thailand emerges as the perfect choice and the best fit for this segment because it meets all these needs effectively. Indian women travelers for most part will be familiar with Thailand as most of them would have visited previously.
From a long-term standpoint as well, focusing on women makes perfect sense because overall travel buying decisions are also increasingly shown to be taken by the woman of the house. Various studies conducted in India and globally show that 70-80% of holiday decisions are taken by women. TAT believes that positive experiences in Thailand will lead women travelers to choose Thailand more often also for a family holiday in the future. Moreover, studies indicate that the segment is ripe with potential: An Amadeus study has indicated that between 2011 and through 2020, the women traveller’s segment would have grown by an astounding 891%!
Anusha Dandekar visited Thailand for the destination’s TVC shoot and essentially experienced the thrills of a girly getaway in Thailand. She and the tourism board will be showcasing her adventures during the trip on social media besides traditional platforms for publicity.