The Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland are all important source markets for visitors to Thailand. Together, they generate over 800,000 visitors each year. In the period prior to the political upheaval in downtown Bangkok, Scandinavian visitor arrivals to Thailand at the beginning of the year had increased by over 20 per cent over the same period in 2009.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s office in Stockholm – TAT Stockholm – is rushing to regain the kingdom’s share of the lucrative, quality outbound travel market and is aiming to achieve an early recovery and turn-around in visitor arrival totals by October 2010, if not sooner.
To quickly restore confidence in the destination well ahead of the next peak travel season, TAT Stockholm is working with strategic partners, such as airlines, travel wholesalers and tour operators, to jointly launch “Partner On Demand” – a campaign to promote travel packages to Thailand.
TAT Stockholm has also introduced “Top of the Sales”, a special top performers award programme to recognize individual sales representatives who sell the highest number of Thailand tour packages.
To further stimulate travel to the Thai kingdom in the lead up to the peak travel season, TAT Stockholm is also offering a “Green Season Special Offer” as a special incentive for individuals who book travel to Thailand from June to September. Each will receive a complimentary phone card and BTS Skytrain card. TAT Stockholm is also running a high profile mobile advertising campaign with buses in the key cities sporting the “Amazing Thailand” theme.
To raise the visibility, awareness and interest in “Destination Thailand” and Thai culture, TAT Stockholm is also working with the Royal Thai Embassy in Oslo, Norway, to jointly host special events such as the Thai Food Fair, Thai Fair and Thailand Festival in Oslo and Tromser – the largest city and cultural centre in North Norway, Copenhagen in Denmark, and Stockholm in Sweden, from June to August. The 2010 Thai Food Fair held at Youngstorget plaza in Oslo, Norway on 5 June attracted over 10,000 visitors, while the Thai Kultur Festival 2010 in Tromser in Norway also attracted much interest from local residents as well as Thai expatriates.
TAT Director overseeing Scandinavia, Mr Manit Boonchim, is optimistic that provided that there are no further incidents that would undermine visitor confidence, Thailand will remain the top favourite destination for Scandinavian travellers.
Most recently, Thailand won the ‘World’s Best Tourist Country’ in the 2010 Norwegian Grand Travel Award making this the seventh consecutive year that the Thai kingdom has won the award.