The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced at a travel agency event in Toronto this week that it will be opening up an official TAT office in Toronto for the first time in 2017. The announcement was well received by travel agents, tour operators and airline representatives in attendance.
The three most popular destinations for travelers to Thailand are Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket, said TAT’s Canadian representative Kayla Shubert, and the top three reasons people visit are: the Thai people and hospitality; the diversity of the country from mountains, lakes and rivers to cosmopolitan cities and palm-fringed islands with sandy beaches in the south; and value for your holiday dollar. Thailand boasts 2,000 miles of coastline and a range of accommodation from Hill Tribe lodges, homestays, tented camps (including floating camps), and hotels at all levels to ultra-luxury spa resorts.
TAT has two dedicated offices in North America, one in New York and one in Los Angeles, and one Toronto-based marketing representative, Kayla Shubert, who has handled the Canadian market for more than 15 years.
But “Canadians spend more and stay longer than other markets,” said Pataraporn Sithivanich, TAT’s executive director for The Americas. In 2015, 227,000 Canadians visited Thailand, up 7.7% from the previous year, and stayed an average of 16 days. They are a loyal market, too; 60% of Canadians who visit are repeat visitors.
U.S. visitors to Tahiland also are on the rise, with 868,000 visitors in 2015, up from 765,000 in 2014, and monthly arrivals from Canada and the United States have surpassed the 2015 figures as well.
Sithivanich thanked the approximately 140 agents attending the event for their support in making Thailand a top destination from Canada, acknowledged Shubert’s efforts in representing Thailand in Canada, and said she look forward to having a full office to increase visitation even more.
Among the suppliers participating in the TAT trade show and presentation were Cathay Pacific, Bangkok Airways, Jade Tours, Goway, Air Canada Vacations, Tourcan, Silk Holidays, Nexus Holidays, Lotus Holidays, Royal Scenic Holidays, Suvara Travels, Taipan Travel and Tucan Travel.