Published on : Thursday, January 9, 2020
Thailand is hoping to witness a windfall from the Indian tourist market, if travelers avoid Middle East and turn eastward instead. Klissada Ratanapruk, the Executive Director of the Asean, South Asia and South Pacific markets for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), explained that the continuing Iran-US disagreement could impact the confidence of Indian travelers, resulting in their shunning Dubai for Thailand to avoid the Middle East.
For outbound Indian tourists, Dubai is the most favored destination, with 2.1 million visitors in 2019. Thailand estimated that 1.9 million tourists poured in from India last year. This was a 22% rise from 2018, generating 84 billion baht in revenue, up 27%, according to the TAT.
In 2020, the agency witnesses a growth rate of 10% to 2.2 million tourists this year from the humungous South Asian market. Even though the TAT expects flourishing demand, the growth rate is improbable to surpass 20% as airlines are at full capacity under available traffic rights and seats are limited, Mr Klissada said.
Discussions on traffic rights are essential to decrease this pain point, if Thailand is interested in enjoying greater opportunities in the coming days, he said. The agency is closely following fleet expansions and new routes designed to Thailand from India-based carriers such as IndiGo Airlines, which ordered 300 new aircraft from Airbus on October last year.
Along with SpiceJet and GoAir, IndiGo is a low-cost carrier growing rapidly in India. The traffic rights are for air connectivity from Thailand to 13 Indian cities which have 10 airlines with 65,182 seats capacity on some 311 flights a week all told.