STUDENT- and youth-focused travel agency STA Travel is beefing up its offerings for Thailand, citing a strong growth in business to the destination.
According to Andy Bennett, STA Travel senior contract manager for Asia, the number of roomnights booked for Phuket hotels increased by 40 to 50 per cent in the last six to seven months. The trends look set to continue through next year, he added.
Given the strong demand, STA Travel is planning to increase the Thailand pages in its 100-page brochure from the current 25, to 29 or 30 pages. The revised brochure will also feature new destinations such as Koh Samet, Koh Chang and Khao Lak, apart from the existing ones such as Koh Samui and Phuket.
Bennett said demand from the company’s UK and Australia markets for Thailand was driven mainly by the country’s value-for-money reputation.
“What Thailand needs to do is to continue with destination marketing, and if prices do rise, Thai hotels need to introduce tacticals to maintain interest levels from the respective markets,” he said.
According to Bennet, even though demand for Thailand is currently high, the destination is up against strong demand for Bali and competitive airfares to Malaysia.
Vietnam is also gaining in popularity, while the Philippines is beginning to creep onto the radar, he added.
By Sirima Eamtako