Bangkok, 5 June 2015 – The Acting Governor and Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas) of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Mrs Juthaporn Rerngronasa will preside over a special event to promote Thailand as a “Muslim Friendly Destination” by inviting 113 representatives of travel agencies and media from 13 countries around the world to participate in the Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM +) 2015.
The “Muslim Friendly Destination” function will be held on 5 June, 2015, at the Impact Exhibition Centre, Impact Muang Thong Thani, alongside the Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM +) 2015.
In the morning session, there will be special lectures on the readiness of Thai tourism products and services to accommodate the Muslim tourist market by highly qualified speakers Assoc. Dr. Pakorn Priyakorn, President of the Foundation of the Islamic Centre of Thailand, and Mr. Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire. In the afternoon session, there will be a table-top sale between Thai tourism operators interested in attracting the Muslim market and representatives of the invited travel agents and media. Later, they will also have a chance to meet with other tourism operators exhibiting at the TTM+ 2015.
The event will provide further information about tourism products and services for the Muslim market; such as, some prominent Muslim landmarks, prayer rooms, Muslim community, hotels, Halal restaurants and other attractions tailored to this market segment, including amusement parks and theme parks. The participants will also discuss opportunities for tourism in the southern provinces proposing routes linking Sungai Kolok – Kelantan for promoting Muslim tourists between Thailand and Malaysia. In addition, TAT will lead the group of Muslim travel agents and media to survey tourism products and services for Muslim tourists in Pattaya, Hua Hin and Phuket.
The “Muslim Friendly Destination” is a pilot project to promote Muslim visitors to Thailand. TAT realises the potential and readiness of Thailand to promote this market.
At present, the population of Muslims worldwide is estimated at 1.6 billion people, or about one in four of the total world population. The Muslim population in the ASEAN region is about 240 million, a significantly large and growing market, especially from Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. The potential will rise further after the AEC 2015 takes effect by the end of this year.
Other target markets; such as, India, the GCC countries (United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait), Egypt, Iran and North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria) are also very attractive markets in this category.
Although the Asia-Pacific region is a major destination for Muslim tourists led by Malaysia and Indonesia, there are still a lot of opportunities for Thailand to tap the market. A lot of new products are emerging to cater to it; such as, a leading Halal hotel scheduled to open in October 2015 in Bangkok, quality Halal restaurants in the major tourist cities, especially in the Southern provinces as well as the promotion of Halal Lanna food in the northern provinces.
TAT believes this “Muslim Friendly Destination Mega Fam trip” will help to increase the proportion of the Muslim target group, especially amongst the high-end and intermediate markets, family and women groups. According to the Mastercard Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index 2015, Thailand was ranked second of the most popular destinations for Muslim tourists from all over world (in the category of non-Muslim countries).
To download the keynote speech by Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa and the power point presentations by the three speakers during the forum, please click the following links:
1: Keynote speech by Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa
2: Thailand Muslim Friendly Destination by Dr. Pakorn Priyakorn
3:Readiness of Thailand to Welcome the Muslim by Mr. Imtiaz Muqbil
4: Halal Tourism by Mr. Siripakorn Cheawsamoot