Weddings a key niche market

Wedding Tourism

Research by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has identified the wedding and honeymoon segment of the country’s tourism sector as a key niche for building the economy in 2014. 

Thailand’s pristine beaches, warm climate and world-class hospitality facilities are among the main attractions for couples choosing to tie the knot abroad. The foremost source markets for weddings and honeymoons in Thailand are Europe, East Asia and other ASEAN nations. 

The study, recently released by the TAT, identifies four niche markets as part of its future marketing strategy. Other key sectors include health and wellness, golf and eco-tourism. The study also identified principal tourism regions that are predicted to help drive tourism growth in each of the sectors.

The study’s findings are based on 30,000 interviews and questionnaires undertaken between April 2012 and March 2013, and estimates show that the number of international visitors attracted by these niche sectors totalled 7.98 million, generating revenue of THB 130.9 billion (US$4.2 billion). 

Estimated revenue from the honeymoon and wedding segment totalled THB34.62 billion (US$1.12 billion), with 1,043,684 trips made for the purpose. Green tourism, health and wellness and golf are estimated to have generated approximate revenues of THB54.68 billion (US$1.7 billion), THB31.12 billion (US$1 billion) and THB10.54 billion (US$339.6 million) respectively.

In an attempt to ascertain the size and potential of each niche market, the findings will be used as the basis for TAT’s 2014 marketing strategy, helping promote the development of high quality products in each of the sectors to cater to the demand of an increasing number of visitors. 

“With 22 million arrivals in 2012 and 24 million projected this year, we have to clearly move beyond trying to generate quantitative, numerical growth,” said Pongsathorn Kessasamli, deputy governor for policy and planning. “Our focus on niche markets is the way of the future. During this time of global economic unpredictability, we believe it is right to focus on these qualities as they are more likely to be ‘recession proof’. We believe we have the right range of products to cater to all four niche markets,” he added.