Thanks to a strong revival in Russian visitor arrivals, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) participated in this year’s OTDYKH-Leisure 2016 with full expectation that Russian visitors will again cross the one million mark.
Held between 21-24 September, 2016, the OTDYKH International Russian Travel Market-Leisure (OTDYKH-Leisure) is a leading travel trade show covering Russia and the CIS countries.
Thailand has been represented since 1995, making this the 21st year of participation. The show has played a major role in encouraging Russian tour operators to promote Thailand to their clients as a holiday destination.
This year, 12 Thai exhibitors and travel and tourism operators are participating including hoteliers, tour operators and travel-related agencies. The Thai pavilion bears the TAT marketing theme “Discover Amazing Stories”.
Delegates at the OTDYKH-Leisure 2016 enjoyed one of the special live demonstrations under the theme “Discover Amazing Stories” at the Thailand Pavilion
It featured a demonstration of Thai traditional massage by the Chao Phya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital, a famous institute of herbal products for healing and medical treatment as well as the wealth of information about the Kingdom’s herbal heritage. Visitors to the Thai pavilion were able to experience a brief Thai traditional massage to refresh their body, mind and spirit as they worked at the trade show.
The pavilion also featured a live demonstration of hand-made, fish-shaped ornaments made of palm leaf. In addition, the Sports Authority of Thailand and Thai Airways International were amongst the exhibitors.
Two-way travel and tourism between Russia and Thailand is set to gain ground. In 2017, the two countries will be celebrating the 120th anniversary of bilateral relations. Numerous cultural and economic events are being planned to mark the occasion.
Russia is the largest source market from Europe and one of Thailand’s top ten sources of visitor arrivals.
In 2006, Russian visitor arrivals totalled 187,658. By 2013, this number had surged to 1.74 million. In 2014, Russian arrivals fell to 1.6 million and again to 884,085 in 2015, mainly due to the economic crisis affecting the country.
However, with the Russian economy now stabilised, along with the value of the Russian Ruble, visitors to Thailand began to rise in February 2016 and have been growing steadily since.
In January – July 2016, Russian visitor arrivals to Thailand totalled 599,141, up by 18.39% over the same period in 2015.
Mr. Visanu Jaroensilp, TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business commented, “Our goal now is to offer “Valuable Experiences” and focus on the “Unique Thai Local Experiences” to create a valuable and memorable feeling to quality tourists by creating value tourism products and upgrading product standards. As such, we expect to see Russian visitor arrivals again cross the one million mark in 2016. Our presence at the OTDYKH International Russian Travel Market-Leisure and other marketing activities and campaigns for Russia and the CIS market will certainly go a long way towards fulfilling that objective.”