Bangkok wants transit passengers to make overnight stays

THE TOURISM Authority of Thailand (TAT) and MasterCard yesterday launched the Stopover Bangkok Project. This is to entice transit passengers to stay in Bangkok for one or two nights during the summer season.

The campaign, which runs till October 31, will involve tactical packages and substantial discounts with airlines like EVA Air, Thai Airways International, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qantas, hotels, destination marketing organisations and 122 Bangkok-based, tourism-related suppliers.

MasterCard holders will receive enhanced privileges, including added discounts of between five to 20 per cent.

Tanes Petsuwan, TAT’s director for Europe, Africa and Middle East market division, said TAT was hoping to attract about five per cent of the five million passengers transiting annually through Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The targeted segment will be passengers from Europe, en route to cities in Asia and Australia/New Zealand.

Tanes said the campaign would likely be re-launched next year, but would target transit passengers making trips from Asia and Australia to Europe, especially during the London Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, Thailand recorded 8.2 million visitor arrivals during the first five months of this year, up 24.3 per cent over the same period last year. Source markets with the strongest growth include China, Russia, India and South Korea.

TAT governor Suraphon Svetasreni said he believed the growth rate would remain stable till the end of the year, and revealed that the Thai NTO was planning to stage road shows in Australia and India to stimulate these markets during the low season.

By Sirima Eamtako

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