Indian tourists may soon travel to Thailand in a caravan

Published on Mar 18, 2019 04:49 PM IST
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is in conversation with the central government to allow Indian tourists to travel via caravans to the ‘Land of Smiles’.
The Leela Beach on Koh Phangan with Ko Samui in back, Thailand.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The Leela Beach on Koh Phangan with Ko Samui in back, Thailand.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Hindustan Times, Dehradun | ByNitika Kakkar

Indian tourists may soon be able to load a caravan and travel all the way to Thailand.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is in conversation with the central government to allow Indian tourists to travel via caravans to the ‘Land of Smiles’.

“We get a large number of tourists from India every year. We are in talks with the Indian government to allow road travel, especially in caravans from Manipur to Thailand. We want to give a boost to caravan tourism between the two countries,” Isra Stapanaseth, director of TAT, said at an event in Dehradun.

The travel route will be the under-construction Trilateral Highway, which will connect Moreh in Manipur with Mae Sot in Thailand. The 1,360 km highway is expected to be completed by 2020.

Stapanaseth said there has been a continuous rise in the number of Indian tourists visiting Thailand. “In the past few years, we have seen an increase of 23% in the number of Indian tourists coming to Thailand. In 2018, 1.6 lakh Indians visited the country,” he said.

Stapanaseth said Indian tourists were also important to Thailand as they spend a lot of money shopping. “Almost 25% of the revenue that we get from Indian tourists is from the shopping they do when they visit Thailand,” Stapanaseth said.

TAT is now trying to target a new age group of Indian tourists to Thailand. “Most of the Indian tourists that visit us are from the working age, that is, 25-50 years. We are now trying to target the senior citizens to come and visit out country as they not only have more time, but also more spending capacity,” Stapanaseth said.

He said TAT has observed that senior travellers were more interested in exploring the culture and cuisine of the country, in contrast to the younger generation which comes there with a purpose of “partying”.

“The senior travellers want to have a local and community-based experience of the country and this is also the present area of focus for TAT,” Stapanaseth said.

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