Guwahati: Direct flights to Bangkok from here, being introduced by Air Asia from early in 2018, will make it easier for people to visit Thailand.
A host of measures like a tourism roadshow, on the sidelines of the five-nation Asean car rally in January, mutual tourist transfers and a meet between Thai and Assam tour operators – to be sponsored by the Assam Tourism Development Corporation – will pave the way for an increase in tourist arrivals and departures. A three-day Northeast India Festival will be held for the first time in Bangkok from May 3.
These measures were agreed on when the Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi, represented by its director Isra Stapanaseth and information officer Deepak Arora, met Assam Tourism Development Corporation officials and tour operators of the city on Sunday to facilitate tourism between Assam and Thailand.
More than a million tourists from India visited Thailand between January and September this year. Thailand is positioning itself as a preferred destination for Indian tourists and has followed this up by introducing direct flights to Bangkok from tier 2 and tier 3 cities like Chandigarh, Jaipur and Bhubaneswar through Thai Airways.
The number of flights from the metros has also been increased and low-cost carriers like Indigo are starting flights between the two countries. Air Asia will soon start direct flights from Guwahati to Bangkok.
Stapanaseth dwelled on the appeal of Assam for Thai visitors by saying, “We have a lot in common with the people from this region. We share a common culture, food habit and tastes. The Thai language is very similar to the Tai-Ahom language. We should start with cultural bonding and getting to know each other better. It is a two-way process. Tourism will increase automatically.”
“Thailand is promoting its art and crafts, culture and activities like snorkelling, diving and golfing to draw more tourists. New routes to connect places like Pattaya, Phuket, Kochang island, Krabi, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai with Bangkok have been introduced.
Thailand is also expanding a special interest market by placing itself as an ideal destination for weddings, golf, honeymoon and family holidays with a well-developed health and wellness sector. New tourist attractions like Show DC, Dinosaur Planet and Frost Ice City have been set up. We have launched a new advertisement campaign titled Discover Amazing Stories in the print and electronic medium, added Stapanaseth.
Special events, including an Asean Tourism Forum at Chiang Mai from January 31 to February 2, a Wedding Mart and Luxury Roadshow at New Delhi and Mumbai in April, a tourism roadshow in Calcutta and Jaipur in June will be held to showcase Thailand in India.
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