Thailand Attracts More Couples
In Thailand, the most popular activities for international visitors currently include weddings, honeymoons, golf and spa breaks, all of which form a major part of the Tourism Authority’s (TAT) global campaigns.
Efforts to promote these segments so far seem to be paying off. In fact, the Kingdom was recently awarded ANBC-Awaaz’s Destination of the Year 2013 for travel, leisure and spas.
Despite continued favoured destination status, however, Thailand is continuously developing more ways to attract couples for destination weddings in the face of competition from other Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines, which are positioning also now themselves to capitalise on what remains a growing market.
"The Philippines’ reputation as a destination for couples looking to tie the knot overseas is growing rapidly," says Yanni Tzoumas, director of “Grace Ormonde Wedding Style magazine. “There’s clearly infrastructure in place for getting to and from the Philippines," he said, " and I think couples that choose the Philippines will benefit from the heightened level of service and hospitality.”
To stay ahead of the game, however, Thailand is becoming more focused in its marketing, and based on the latest research the TAT has launched a campaign specifically targeting British couples in the market for a wedding abroad.
According to a study, 755,691 UK tourists visited Thailand in the 2012/2013 financial year for honeymoons and weddings, generating revenue of THB 29.9 billion (US$956.5 million). The research also looked at the potential of the growing destination wedding market, and results showed that out of 300,000 British couples that married in the past financial year, 80,000 chose to hold ceremonies and honeymoon trips abroad.
"Thailand is one of the most popular long-haul honeymoon and wedding destinations for Britons,” said Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, director of the TAT in London, adding that the agency will focus on the country’s splendid beaches and luxurious private villas to attract couples. Thailand will also be marketed as a romantic destination at the World Travel Mart 2013 event in London, which takes place in November.
Bangkok's IMPACT exhibition centre also launched a special wedding promotion targeting visitors from India to boost the number of destination weddings in the country.
The Indian market holds a lot of potential for Thailand’s destination wedding sector, as ceremonies are typically large and can last from four to seven days. According to the TAT, a growing number of Indian couples are choosing to wed in Thailand, with wedding organisers in Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket seeing significant growth in demand.
For now, it seems, Thailand is holding on to its status as the favourite wedding destination in Asia.