Bangkok, 17 November 2016 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is supporting Thai Airways International (TG) in inaugurating the first direct TG Frankfurt-Phuket route by hosting a familiarisation trip. The trip will be for 20 travel agents, tour operators and 7 members of the media who were among the first passengers to fly on the new route TG-927, which departed from Frankfurt on 16 November, 2016. The fam trip will take place from 17 to 23 November and will give journalists and tour operators a taste of Phuket and the surrounding areas.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “This new TG route shows how popular the island of Phuket is as a holiday destination for long-haul visitors and confirms that confidence in Thailand is high among European travellers. The direct flight between Frankfurt to Phuket will boost an increasing number of international arrivals in this upcoming high season. Not only travellers from Germany will be facilitated by this new route, but also visitors from the European region; such as, Austria, Belgium, and Netherlands who plan to visit Phuket and Thailand.”
Mr. Yuthasak added, “There is so much to visit in Phuket and in nearby provinces. Supporting the campaign “Discover Amazing Stories in Amazing Thailand”, we want this fam trip to showcase some of the unique Thai activities people can enjoy here, not to mention the welcoming hospitality to be found on the Pearl of the Andaman.”
The fam trip will visit the lovely region of Khao Lak in Phang-nga province and explore the old town of Takua Pa with its Chinese business and markets. They will also make a real connection with the local people by experiencing community-based tourism at Tha Din Daeng in Phang-nga and learn about how the local fishermen live and work. There will also be a trip to the Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Centre in Thai Muang district where turtles will be released into the sea.
Besides, they are going to explore four islands of Krabi by long-tail boat and experience community-based tourism in Ko Yao by visiting rice and coconut farms; learn about rubber tapping, and see displays of local craftsmen. The fam trip has been designed to give a taste of the luxury experiences in and around Phuket as well as eco-friendly and community based activities, all of which are increasingly popular with European tourists.
The Frankfurt-Phuket route will offer three flights a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays on a Boeing 777 flight to the island meaning travellers can fly direct to their holiday destination without having to make connections in Bangkok. This will help boost tourism in Phuket and enhance its reputation as the perfect place to seek the winter sun.
The German market is one of the most significant markets to Thailand. Last year, we welcomed 746,135 German tourists from a total of 29.9 million international arrivals. The figure was up by 6.88 percent and generated around 47 billion Baht (approximately 1.4 billion USD) in tourism revenue for the country, an increase of 3.67 percent. The German travellers’ average length of stay in Thailand is about 17 days per trip. Their favourite destinations are Khao Lak, Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan, Phuket, Krabi as well as Chiang Mai, Surat Thani, and Bangkok. The top three purposes of travel are for a holiday, business, and honeymoon or anniversary celebration.
For this year, during January to August, Thailand has welcomed 536,422 German visitors, up by 10.18 percent over the same period of last year. At the end of this year, TAT expects to achieve 53.82 billion Baht (around 15.4 billion USD), in tourism revenue, or up by 13 percent from 820,000 German arrivals which is up by 10 percent from 2015.
Apart from the latest direct flight between Frankfurt-Phuket, the inauguration flight of Hong Kong Express will be introduced on 25 November, 2016, operating between Hong Kong – Chiang Rai. This will boost the Hong Kong and Macau market to Chiang Rai in the north of Thailand together with other nearby provinces.