(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Raynald C Rivera | The Peninsula
DOHA: Having witnessed up to 40 percent year to date increase in tourist arrivals from Qatar, Thailand remains a popular destination for Qataris, an official from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has said.
'Thailand is already a popular destination particularly for Qatari people and 2018 is a very good year for Qatari tourist market because we have seen a growth of 30 to 40 percent from the beginning of the year until now, Pichaya Saisaengchan, Director of TAT Dubai and Middle East Office, told The Peninsula.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Amazing Thailand Health & Wellness Networking Dinner 2018 at Hilton Hotel Doha on Thursday, Saisaengchan was optimistic of the continued growth in tourist arrivals from Qatar.
'Last year, we had 28,000 visitors from Qatar with a slight drop from the previous year because of the blockade, but this year we have seen a growth of up to 40 percent and if this growth momentum continues, we expect to see around 38,000 tourists from Qatar this year. We have four months to go and we are doing good so far, he said.
To achieve their target, TAT is working closely with Qatar Airways with Doha's strategic location where east meets west making Hamad International Airport gateway to the rest of the world connecting countless cities around the globe.
'There's nowhere in the world where you can connect with Thailand easily like Doha. Qatar Airways has direct flights to five different destinations in Thailand that's why we are working closely with them, he said, adding they are also working closely with travel agents associations.
Thailand targets to attract more Qataris to avail of its high quality health and wellness sector, he stressed.
'Thailand is a popular destination world over. Everyone knows it. We welcomed 35 million last year. But what we'd like to see particularly from the Qatari market is to visit Thailand for health and wellness, to stay healthier and look better.
Many of them may not know that Thailand is also a popular destination for health and wellness. We have internationally well-known health and wellness sector which includes spas, wellness centres and even medical facilities which are world renowned, he explained.
He said Thailand is already a popular destination for beaches, for culture, for nature and that what people may not know much is its world class health and wellness and medical facilities spread around the country.
'A weekly magazine from the UK has announced that Thailand was voted world's number one destination for wellness and spa. This is one of many of the awards we have received so far, thanks to our private sector who provides high quality of services, he said.
Saisaengchan also highlighted Thai people's friendliness and hospitality which attract many tourists to keep coming back to Thailand.
Thursday's event saw eight sellers from Thailand's health and wellness segment in the private sector which included hospitals, clinics, beauty treatment and anti-aging centres meet travel agents from Qatar to connect and develop further business in the future.