Muscat: Thailand is looking to receiving 103,728 tourists from Oman by 2017, a senior official from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said.
Speaking to the Times of Oman, Tanes Petsuwan, TAT’s executive director, Europe, Africa and Middle East region, said Thailand’s tourism industry is eyeing more tourists from Oman, with the launch of the new logo of the “Amazing Thailand” campaign.
“This logo incorporates the attraction and appeal of the most well known characteristic of Thailand—The Smile,” he added.
Last year, approximately 85,000 Omanis travelled to Thailand, and Petsuwan is optimistic that the numbers this year will be much more. “We are expecting a 10 per cent increase in the number of tourists from Oman each year from now to achieve over 100,000 Omani visitors to Thailand in 2017,” he said.
Growing leisure market
In 2015, there were 29.8 million international tourist arrivals in Thailand, with 85,726 arrivals from Oman. “For Thailand, we consider Oman as one of the growing leisure markets that have a high average length of stay and daily expenditure. For example, in 2014, visitors from Oman had an average length of 10.7 days, while Thailand’s overall average was 9.8 days. The average daily expenditure for Omani visitors was more than $170, while the overall Thailand average was $150,” said Dr Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the TAT.
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TAT also reported a jump in foreign tourist arrivals from Iran and Oman, following a recent government delegation to the Middle Eastern countries. “We also met with all leading travel agents in Oman to push the number,” officials said.
The TAT Governor added that Thailand’s healthcare and hospitals have also gained the trust of Omani tourists.
On this official trip led by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and six ministers, several agreements have been signed with the Omani government on providing healthcare for public officials in Thailand and packages for medical tourism.
“Thailand is aiming to become a quality leisure destination for Omanis. They come and explore the place, use the resources we have in a good way and our operators are very happy,” officials said.
Regarding the attractions, officials said Thailand offers a great variety of attractions. “These include sandy beaches, culture and natural resources. Moreover, the country is well known for being a Muslim friendly and family destination as it has been voted as one of the top Muslim friendly tourist destinations in the world by the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015,” an official said.
Regarding the medical tourism perspective, officials said their private hospitals are world famous. “With Arabic speaking interpreters, a reasonable cost of treatment, the quality of Thai doctors and medical tourism in Thailand is booming now for Oman and the GCC market as they can enjoy their medical treatment in Thailand for up to 90 days without a visa,” officials added.