Thailand out to woo couples to visit for weddings, honeymoons
SEVENTY-THREE buyers from 15 countries met with 116 local operators last week, promoting wedding business with the goal of making Thailand one of the top global destinations for the sector.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand held events in Bangkok and Krabi from May 11 to 13, to market the country as a major destination for wedding and honeymoon couples, said Juthaporn Rerngronasa, its deputy governor for international marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas).
The country already ranks as a top-six global market for weddings and honeymoons, as well as being the most popular destination for such business in Asia and an emerging destination among the Middle Eastern and African markets, she noted.
Representatives from these markets last week joined networking and business sessions with 64 local sellers at the Bangkok event, representing hotels, resorts, destination management companies and event planners.
At the Krabi event, they met Thai sellers from 52 companies - mainly resorts in the South.
According to TAT, wedding business worldwide is valued at US$298 billion (S$407 billion), with US$80 billion coming from overseas weddings.
Amnart Laosirimongkol, director of operations at the Na-kamanda Resort and Spa Krabi, said the property was built 13 years ago specifically to cater to weddings and honeymoons.
The 39-villa resort operates at a 70-per-cent average occupancy rate, mostly accounted for by couples from Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Asian markets.
Darunee Narkprasert, director of sales and marketing at Aonang Cliff Beach in Krabi, said the resort plans to open 14 more villas next year to serve the higher demand for weddings.
Rong Phukaoluan, president of the Krabi Hotel Association, said Krabi has become a crowded destination due to a large increase in the number of visitors.
THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK