THAILAND- Key Southeast Asian destinations are experiencing a surge in Indian tourist arrivals, aiming to boost traffic through measures such as visa exemptions and the introduction of extra flights.
Thailand, for instance, has waived visa requirements for Indians until May 10 and has targeted to attract 1.6 million Indian tourists in 2023.
As one of Thailand’s top 10 source markets, India is pivotal to the country’s tourism, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand is actively pursuing partnerships with local travel companies to cater to diverse market segments, including leisure travelers, women, senior citizens, and golf enthusiasts.
Between January and October, Thailand welcomed 1.3 million Indian visitors, marking an 86% increase compared to the same period in 2022. Similarly, Singapore is experiencing a rise in Indian tourist arrivals, with government data revealing a 15.5% increase to 792,935 visitors during the first nine months of this year compared to the corresponding period last year.
GB Srithar, the Regional Director for India, Middle East, and Africa at the Singapore Tourism Board, expressed optimism about closing 2023 with robust Indian visitor numbers.
Anticipating diverse segments, including families and young travelers, Srithar highlighted Singapore’s hassle-free visa process and connectivity with seventeen Indian cities as factors contributing to its popularity as an accessible and favored destination.
Southeast Asia Increase in connectivity
Malaysia Airlines (MH) recently initiated operations to Amritsar and Thiruvananthapuram, with plans to launch flights between Kuala Lumpur and Ahmedabad starting December 1, thereby increasing its weekly flights to India to 65.
VietJet also expanded its reach in India this month by introducing flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Tiruchi, marking its fifth destination in the country.
The introduction of non-stop flights has resulted in heightened demand for local hotels, significantly reducing travel time.
Rajeev Kale, President and Country Head (Holidays, MICE, and Visas) at Thomas Cook India, noted a notable increase in positive consumer intent (up by 25-30%) attributed to announcements regarding e-visas, no visa requirements and the expansion of air capacity.
This positive trend is expected to influence late bookings for the upcoming festive winter season.
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