TAT Joins Forces with Etihad Airways
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has signed a major agreement with Etihad Airways to boost visitor numbers from Middle Eastern and European source markets, according to a report on traveldailymedia.com.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline will work closely with the TAT to promote overseas travel to Thailand amongst several key visitor markets, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Egypt and Kuwait. The new marketing deal is worth US$1 million and is a further part of the TAT’s efforts to promote its high-end tourism sector in particular. The agreement was signed at an event in Bangkok.
“Etihad Airways has a long and proud association with Thailand,” said Tim Burnell, Etihad’s vice president of marketing. “In fact Bangkok was one of our first international routes. It continues to be one of the busiest in our network enjoying strong year-round demand, particularly from the UAE, GCC, Middle East, Africa and Europe.”
At present, Etihad operates five daily flights to Thailand – four to Bangkok and one to Phuket. According to Burnell, this already shows the airline’s long-standing investment in the Kingdom’s tourism sector, but with the new marketing agreement it is extending that commitment.
“Through innovative joint marketing campaigns, we aim to bring hundreds of thousands of first-time and repeat travellers from Europe and the Middle East to Thailand to enjoy this beautiful country,” he explained.
Thailand has a long-established reputation amongst discerning global travellers. In addition to its tropical climate and stunning beaches, the Kingdom is also home to a world-class hospitality sector – which includes a range of boutique accommodation options. The route to Bangkok is one of Ethiad’s busiest routes, with roughly 800,000 passengers choosing to use the airline to travel to the Thai capital in 2016.
“Europe has long been a prime market for Thailand. We have also seen an increase in visitors from the Middle East and Africa,” said Tanes Petsuwan, the TAT’s deputy governor. “The new partnership with Etihad Airways will be a great benefit to both parties – to Thailand in terms of increased visitor numbers and to Etihad Airways in terms of promoting its international network.”
The TAT has set a target of 34.5 million overseas visitors this year, aiming to generate THB1.81 billion (US$50 billion) in revenue. As the main gateway to the country, Bangkok is a popular stop-off for tourists on their way down to beach hotspots like Koh Samui and Phuket.