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06/01/2011 - Thailand targets the Middle East

06/01/2011 - Thailand targets the Middle East

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced that, despite the economic downturn, Thailand is continuing to attract an increasing numbers of visitors from the Middle East.

In fact, figures show a sixty seven percent rise in September 2010 compared with September 2009.

Whilst the figures for the final quarter of 2010 are still to be confirmed, the Tourism Authority of Thailand expects the overall number of visitors from the Middle East to surpass 2009 levels by at least twenty percent.

For the first nine months of 2010 the total number of visitors from the Middle East stands at 392,294 and has already eclipsed the total for the whole of 2009.

Pramoth Supyen, Tourism Authority of Thailand director for the Middle East, commented; "2010 proved to be a challenging year for all destinations due to various global and international events and Thailand was no exception. However, I am pleased to announce that due to the combined efforts of our travel trade partners and the continuing popularity of Thailand among residents of this region who appreciate the value and quality of experiences Thailand has to offer, that Thailand continues to grow strongly as a favoured destination of choice, and this is something that we are very pleased about. Given the circumstances a projected increase of twenty percent in 2010 is an outstanding result."

What’s more, in order to attract further visitors to the country and ensure Thailand’s popularity continues well into 2011, a consumer and travel agent competition aimed at Middle Eastern visitors has been launched.

The consumer competition titled “Amazing Thailand Travel – Short Story Contest” was launched on January 1st.  Entrants are invited to write a short story based upon a representative image of Thailand.  Currently the competition is only open to Middle Eastern countries; United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iran.

The winning entries will be drawn four times throughout the year, with each winner receiving a five day/ four night holiday package to Thailand.

In addition, Tourism Authority of Thailand have also introduced a “Best Itinerary Contest” to encourage travel agents to promote Thailand as a unique holiday experience.

The competition will also invite travel agent graduates from the ‘Amazing Thailand Academy’ to enter their ideal Thailand itinerary based on a specific theme -  four different themes will be used and the contest will be judged once each quarter during 2011.

Applicant’s itineraries will be judged on their ability to incorporate and consider criteria such as, new attractions, authenticity, travelling time and efficiency, relaxation, budget and the "7 Wonders of Thailand" – namely; ‘Thainess’, Treasures, Beaches, Nature, Trends, Wellness and Festivities.

The winning entry for the best itinerary on each theme will get the opportunity to live out their dream itinerary, along with a free holiday package for two adults.  Also included will be publication of the winners name, agency logo and entry on to the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s dedicated Middle East web site.

All travel agents from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iran will be eligible to enter the competition.

Full details and conditions on how you can enter either competition can be found on the Tourism Authority of Thailand Middle Eastern web site.

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