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Tourism officials partner with Saudia Airlines to boost visitor numbers to Phuket

PHOTO: Flickr/Burmarrad (Mark) Camenzuli

Thai tourism officials have confirmed they’re teaming up with the national airline of Saudi Arabia to boost visitor numbers into Phuket. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, confirmed the TAT’s ambitious target for the coming year.

“TAT hopes more than 300,000 Saudi tourists will visit Thailand in 2024, generating revenue of 27.7 billion baht.”

Nation Thailand reports that Thapanee recently travelled to Riyadh to meet with representatives of Saudia Airlines. The TAT governor held talks with senior executives at the airline, which centred around a proposal to introduce direct flights between Riyadh and Phuket. The carrier currently operates 7 flights a week from Jeddah to Bangkok and 3 from Riyadh.

Also up for discussion was a marketing campaign with the title, “Two Kingdoms, One Happiness”, aimed at attracting more Saudi visitors to Phuket.

“The TAT also plans to open an office in Riyadh and that she has invited Saudia Airlines to attend the Thailand Travel Mart Plus fair being held in Bangkok next year.”

The airline was also briefed on the Thailand Privilege Card and the associated perks for wealthy Saudis.

According to the TAT, the average Saudi tourist in Thailand stays for 14.5 days, spending around 92,000 baht per trip. This is substantially more spending and longer stays than those seen with European or American travellers.

On a related note, the TAT’s Phuket office says the launch of Air India’s direct flights between New Delhi and Phuket has led to a surge in Indian visitors on the island. The flights currently operate 4 times a week, but the TAT expects this to increase to daily flights from January.

Nation Thailand reports that to date, 1.5 million Indian travellers have visited Thailand this year. The most popular destinations have been Bangkok, Chonburi, Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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