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New Thai-China tour packages to be launched at ITB 2003

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 28 February 2003

The tourism authorities of Thailand and China are to join forces to launch their first two-country packages in the German market at the ITB (Internationale Tourismus Borse) in Berlin between March 7-11, 2003.

Designed to link Thai cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai as well as some of the beach resorts with southern Chinese cities like Kunming, Jinghong, and Lijiang, the packages will be launched at a press conference  at what is generally considered to be the worlds largest travel trade show.

The media briefing will be presided over by Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Mrs Juthamas Siriwan and Mr. Liu Ke Zhi, Deputy Director-General  of the Marketing and Communications Department of the China National Tourism Administration.

Mrs Juthamas said the cooperation with China is an extension of the successful joint marketing efforts between Thailand and other Greater Mekong Subregion countries like Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Such co-operation between regional national tourism organisations is a further indication of how joint efforts can enhance the value of the destination and improve the marketing profile.

While the airlines and the private sector have long been marketing Thai-China tours, this is the first time for the two national tourism organisations to launch such an initiative, she said. It also fits in perfectly with our plans to better position Thailand as the Tourism Capital of Asia within three years.

Germany is a major source of visitors for both Thailand and China. Germans do not need visas to visit Thailand and can get visas for China at the Chinese embassy in Bangkok. There are 28 flights a week between Germany and Thailand, and 98 flights a week linking Thailand and China.

The launch of the joint packages will give a higher profile to the overall Thailand presence at the ITB which in 2002 was attended by 122,900 visitors, including 65,000 trade visitors from 199 countries and territories. Exhibitors totalled 9,932 companies and organisations from 181 countries and  territories.

This year, the Thai delegation comprises of 113 companies, up from 104 companies in 2002. In January-December 2002, visitors from Germany to  Thailand totalled 403,240, up 1.31% over the same period of 2001.

Germans stay longer than any other visitors to Thailand. At 16.14 days, the Germans length of stay is well above the European average of 13.53 days  and roughly double the overall average of eight days.

Research conducted by TAT in the German market shows that German tour operators are having to become much more customer- oriented and offer  individualised holidays, with more flexible itineraries and value-added services.

Mrs Juthamas said, We are listening carefully to what the market is telling us and adapting our products accordingly.

Individually as well as in co-operation with China and the GMS countries, Thailand can expect a good response at the ITB, which means we should also get more visitors in future, assuming that the global economic and political situation remains stable, she said.

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