Thailand looks to court Malaysian market once travel ban lifts

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has intensified its efforts on social media to stay connected with Malaysians – its second largest inbound market after China – in hopes that the destination will be the preferred choice for Malaysian holidaymakers once travel restrictions are lifted.

Malaysians have been under the movement control order (MCO) since March 18, and health authorities have indicated that travel bans may continue to be enforced even after the MCO is lifted.

Thailand eyes Malaysian tourists once travel restrictions are lifted; travellers at the Saraburi Sunflower Field in Khao Yai, Thailand pictured

Nongyao Jirundorn, TAT director for Malaysia, said that the tourism board has uploaded many videos on Thai cuisine, as well as attractions and activities across Thailand, on their social media platforms since March.

“We have chefs giving lessons on how to make mango sticky rice and other Thai favourites, as well as VR videos on selected destinations and attractions, offering travellers ideas on where to holiday after the pandemic ends and when people start travelling again,” she said.

Nongyao added they are also conducting webinars for Malaysian partners to keep them updated on its latest products and to stay in touch with them.

According to a survey conducted by TAT, most leisure tourists visit Thailand primarily for its food, shopping, wellness and spa, followed by attractions and activities.

Last year, Thailand recorded some 4.166 million Malaysian tourists, of which around 70 per cent were repeat visitors.

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