Isra Stapanaseth, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand, addresing leading travel agents and tour operators -Photo : Monitor
Dhaka : A total of 1,25,130 Bangladeshis visited Thailand last year registering an average growth of 10.2 per cent since 2013. The average growth of tourism receipts from them over the same period was 5,795 million Bahts, up 17 per cent.
Isra Stapanaseth, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi said this while updating leading travel agents and tour operators of the country about "Open to the New Shades," TAT's latest global campaign under the Amazing Thailand branding, at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka on the sidelines of Dhaka Travel Mart-2018.
The TAT Director said, if year-on-year growth is considered, tourist arrivals was 21 per cent up from 2016 figures while tourism receipts from Bangladeshi tourists were up 23 per cent.
Though Bangladesh was fourth in spending per trip in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the country rose to the third position in 2016 (45,388 Bahts) and continued to be in the same position 2017 (46,312 Bahts), Isra Stapanaseth said citing provisional figures.
Isra Stapanaseth said, a Bangladeshi stayed in Thailand for 7.6 days on an average in 2013 which increased to 7.8 in 2016; 77 per cent were revisits while 23 per cent were first visits the same year. Most Bangladeshis travelled in groups (79 per cent) while 21 per cent were FITs.
He said, twenty-nine flights of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Regent Airways, US-Bangla Airlines and Thai Airways offered 6,596 seats a week - Business Class and Economy Class taken together.
Isra Stapanaseth said, TAT's latest global campaign focuses on Thailand's signature attractions; beaches, cultural festivals and food.
The campaign puts emphasis on five unique activities: discovering new attractions or experiences, exploring a variety of local and international dishes, shopping for locally-made products, sharing wonderful experiences with family and friends, and helping local communities to thrive through sustainable tourism.
The TAT Director said, "Open to the New Shades" campaign attempts to encourage travellers to explore hidden, diversified local cultural experiences to comply with Thai government policy to disperse travel to secondary destinations.
He described six routes inside Thailand where the tourists can combine these experiences: Bangkok-Pattaya-Hua Hin; Bangkok-Samut Songkhram-Hua Hin; Bangkok-Pattaya-Chanthaburi-Trat; Rayong-Koh Samet-Trat-Koh Chang; Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai; and Bangkok-Phulet-Khao Lak-Krabi.
Isra Stapanaseth also spoke of Thailand as a Muslim-friendly destination. Besides mosques, prayer rooms are available at shopping malls and tourist attractions, he said, adding, Halal food can be had both in northern and southern regions, besides capital Bangkok.
This year he hoped to promote Thailand as "The Preferred Destination," increase spending and expand medium and high-end market base as well as to expand special-interest market base.
Dr Enamul Haq spoke on Bangkok Hospital and Md Wasiul Alam on Vejthani Hospital at the Health and Wellness session that followed.
Cost of medical treatment is very reasonable in Thailand. Heart bypass costs US$130,000 in US while it costs US$11,000 in Thailand, while knee replacement costs US$40,000 in US and US$10,000 in Thailand, they said
Taufiq Uddin Ahmed, President, Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB), SN Manzur Murshed (Mahbub), President, Association of Travel Agencies of Bangladesh (ATAB), Satit Dumrerng, General Manager-Bangladesh, Thai Airways and leading travel agencies and tour operators were present.