Thai travel agents eye Myanmar

BANGKOK, 6 May 2014: Association of Thai Travel Agents says the opening of ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 will encourage Myanmar citizens to travel more.

ATTA president, Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, said Myanmar is an interesting market for Thailand as it is close by and citizens travel for various reasons including business, health, study and leisure.

“Thailand will target more wealthy residents who travel to Thailand for medicals,” he said.
Mandalay, the second largest city in Myanmar, has a strong market for medical related trips to Bangkok, but they are not booking through traditional travel agents.
Most wealthy residents in Myanmar are very familiar with Thailand. They visit the country on business, or travel through Suvarnabhumi Airport to connect with flights to other destinations such as Hong Kong and Japan.

However, the emergence of more nonstop services from Yangon to other countries in Asia, is reducing the importance of the Bangkok gateways, while internet bookings and low-cost airlines are cutting in to what was once a lucrative market for traditional travel agents.
According to Tourism Authority of Thailand’s ASEAN market study 2013, there are 9,049,228 high-end tourists in nine-ASEAN countries (excluding Thailand) estimated at 1.6% the overall population. Travellers in this segment earn around US$20,000 per year.

Source TR Weekly

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