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Bangkok, 28 December 2018 - The award-winning Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony celebrates its 23rd consecutive year of Neptune-like nuptials under the Andaman Sea, while raising awareness about preserving Trang's natural beauty by promoting coral reef conservation in Southern Thailand.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has successfully positioned the Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony as one of Thailand's top international events, driven in part by the annual attention from the media and influencers promoting both Trang and Thailand.

TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn said: "Trang's coral reef conservation project in 1995 inspired a scuba-diving couple to marry under the Andaman Sea. It was memorable enough for the Trang Chamber of Commerce to initiate the annual Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony every February.

"The first one took place in 1997 with a global invitation sent out offering scuba-diving couples the unique opportunity to get married under the sea."

Since then the Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony has captured the imagination of the world. In 2000, it was declared the largest underwater wedding ceremony by the Guinness Book of Records. In 2007, the Thai government named it one of the country's national identity projects, then in 2013, the event received a Thailand Tourism Award.

This year, a total of 20 couples from Thailand and overseas are expected to attend a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dive deep and tie the knot.

The 23rd Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony is scheduled from 12 to 14 February, 2019, with an action-packed calendar of events.

The event starts the morning of 12 February when all registered couples join a welcome ceremony at the Thumrin Thana Hotel before joining a traditional Thai wedding parade with local high school marching bands from the hotel to the Trang Clock Tower.

The big day arrives on 13 February when all couples travel to Pak Meng Pier for a boat transfer to the Emerald Cave for the 'Underwater Wedding registration' and the 'Rot Sai Sang' ritual to complete the marriage. This is done in front of the Emerald Cave at the depth of eight metres followed by a photo session.

In the afternoon, there is an evening wedding reception at Pak Meng Beach where the married couples receive their official marriage certificate.

On 14 February, all head out to Wat Khao Mai Kaeo to ring the bell and gong for happiness and prosperity. Lastly, the newlyweds visit two of Trang's oldest shrines, the Tam Gong Yai Shrine and the Governor's Residence before flying home.

Couples must present the following documents upon application to be eligible for the event. A copy of their ID card or passport, copy of their house registration (for Thais only), and copy of a scuba license and dive log book.

All participants need to provide their own masks, wetsuits, and fins.

The wedding certificate received is merely a certificate of participation in the Trang Underwater Wedding Celebration 2019 and is not legally binding.
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Thailand records 7.5% growth in visitor arrivals

[ Tourism News ] Posted by root on 2018/12/25 15:30:00 (131 reads)

Tha Kha Floating Market, Samut Songkhram

Bangkok, 25 December, 2018 - The Ministry of Tourism and Sports announced the tourism figures for January-November 2018. Thailand received 34,431,489 international visitors, up by 7.53% over the same period of last year, generating an estimated 1.8 billion Baht in tourism revenue, up by 9.79%.

The highlight of the results was the fact that seven countries (China, Malaysia, South Korea, Lao PDR., Japan, India, and Russia) have already generated more than one million visitor arrivals, and three more countries (USA, Vietnam and Singapore) were set to follow suit when the full year 2018 results were tabulated.

Commenting on the performance, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said, "We are overjoyed to have this result in the last quarter of 2018. The 35 million visitor target is now set to be met. It is a tribute to the cooperation and creativity of the entire Thai travel and tourism industry to ensure that it remains our primary sector for job creation, distribution of income nationwide, and contribution to cultural, heritage and environmental preservation.

Summary of the key results in January-November 2018:
Overview: All regions grew well except the Middle East and Oceania. Visitors from East Asia totalled 23.62 million (+9.21%), Europe 5.91 million (+4.03%), the Americas 1.41 million (+3.70%), South Asia 1.77 million (+11.32%), Oceania 838,713 (-1.40%), the Middle East 683,420 (-6.24%), and Africa 174,565 (+9.63%).

East Asia: East Asian visitor arrivals comprised the biggest market share of all visitors. A total of 23.62 million or 68% were from East Asian countries. Apart from China (9.69 million), the other top sources of arrivals were Malaysia (3.56 million), South Korea (1.62 million), Lao PDR. (1.59 million) and Japan (1.50 million).

The ASEAN countries in total generated over 9.17 million arrivals, with growth by Malaysia (+15.52%), the Philippines (+12.63%), Indonesia (+11.52%), Vietnam (+10.18%), Cambodia (+4.59%), Lao PDR. (+4.48%), Singapore (+3.73%), and Myanmar (+0.68%). Only Brunei showed a decline (-3.89%).

Muk Island is located in Hat Chao Mai National Marine Park, Trang

Europe: European visitors were up 4.03% to 5.91 million. Russia retained its status as the largest source market from Europe with arrivals of 1.26 million, up 10.33%. The United Kingdom was the second highest source market with a total of 877,502, followed by Germany 789,150, up 4.46%, and France 677,579, up 1.46%.

Visitor markets also grew from East Europe (+9.22%), Austria (+12.08%), the Netherlands (+6.41%), Italy (+6.17%), Denmark (+4.25%), Finland (+2.22%), Belgium (+1.84%), and Spain (+1.32%).

The Americas: Arrivals from the Americas grew by 3.70% to 1.41 million. The main market, the USA, increased by 6.37% to 993,631. Arrivals from Canada were up 7.18% to 245,227.

Thi Lo Cho Waterfall or Namtok Saifon is located in Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary, Tak

South Asia: Arrivals from South Asia grew by a strong 11.32% to 1.77 million. India topped the list with arrivals up by 12.03% to 1.42 million. Other countries also showed good growth; such as, Nepal (+27.63%), Bangladesh (+8.21%), Sri Lanka (+2.81%), and Pakistan (+2.70%).

Oceania: Arrivals from Oceania declined by 1.40% to 838,713 visitors. Australian visitors declined by 1.61% to 728,720. Arrivals from New Zealand declined by 0.23% to 106,378.

Middle East: Arrivals from the UAE declined by 7.16% to 117,162. Arrivals from Saudi Arabia declined by 18.99% to 26,075. However, some markets like Kuwait (+2.74%) reported good results.

Africa: Arrivals from Africa grew by 9.63% to 174,565, mainly due to arrivals from South Africa (86,509).
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Bangkok, 21 December 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) achieves yet another arrival milestone in December fuelled by its "Dear Singaporean, Thanks a Million" campaign that produced two consecutive years of over one million tourist arrivals from Singapore.

A high profile airport welcome ceremony was presided over by the Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Asia and the South Pacific Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya plus representatives from the Airports of Thailand, Thai Airways International (THAI), and other public and private tourism related organisations.

Thai Tourism and Sports Minister Weersak, said: "Through the generous support of key tourism-related stakeholders, the promotion for Singaporeans received an overwhelming response that allowed us to achieve this milestone for two years running."

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Asia and the South Pacific said, "The TAT Singapore Office perfectly executed its 'Dear Singaporean, Thanks a Million' campaign from 1 August to 30 November, 2018, rolling out a countrywide cross platform promotional activity through outdoor billboards, bus wraps, cinemas, radio channels and online media.

"In addition, from 20 to 23 December, 2018, the TAT Singapore Office is hosting 12 media members and social media influencers from Singapore to witness the milestone and experience first-hand new attractions and dine at Michelin-starred restaurants in Thailand."

Ms. Angela Kwek Sui Hoon, the millionth visitor from Singapore in 2018, in a welcome group photo with H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat, Tourism and Sports Minister (3rd from right); Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Asia and the South Pacific (right); and Mr. Kajorndet Apichartrakul, Director of TAT Singapore Office (2nd from left)

All were on hand to see Ms. Angela Kwek Sui Hoon feted as the one millionth Singaporean visitor to Thailand of 2018 as she arrived at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport with THAI's flight TG414 on 21 December at 17.15 Hrs. For the milestone, she received:

From THAI: return airfare for two on the Singapore-Bangkok-Chiang Mai route, along with fast track services.

From King Power: a 100,000 Baht duty-free shopping voucher, two night's accommodation at Pullman King Power Bangkok, and a family pass to the King Power Mahanakhon SkyWalk.

From Siam Piwat: a Siam Gift shopping card and VIZ privilege card entitled at Siam Paragon, Siam Discovery and ICON Siam as well as vouchers for a dining and cooking workshop at Sook Siam Market.

From TAT: a five-day/four-night "Thanks a Million" tour package inclusive of accommodation, transfers and guide for the lucky tourist and one companion on the Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai route to promote travel between key and secondary cities in Thailand.

Singapore's current population of 3.5 million produced 1.02 million Singaporean arrivals to Thailand in 2017. The average length of stay was 5.4 days with average expenditure estimated at 35,000 Baht per person per trip.

For 2019, TAT plans to promote the charms of Northern Thailand, highlighting the secondary cities of Chiang Rai, Lampang and Lamphun, which are all easily accessible on direct Singapore to Chiang Mai flights.
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Bangkok, 19 December, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) along with representatives from the tourism-related public and private sectors hosted a special welcoming ceremony to the 10 millionth visitor from China, Ms. He WeiXin, who arrived in the kingdom today on board Thai Airways International (THAI) flight TG613 from Kunming, which touched down at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport at 17.00 Hrs.

Presiding over the high-profile airport welcome ceremony, H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said: "This marks a historic milestone between our two Asian neighbours, and we are confident that she will enjoy her local Thai experiences and will feel inspired to become a good ambassador of the kingdom.

"We hope that she will help spread the word about her memorable experience during the trip in Thailand to family, friends and everyone in China that 'Amazing Thailand' remains the preferred holiday destination. This will help strengthen the positive image of Thai tourism."

Minister of Tourism and Sports H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat and the 10 millionth visitor from China Ms. He WeiXin

The 10 millionth Chinese arrival milestone shows that TAT's projection of 10 million visitors from China, generating about 509 billion Baht in revenue, for 2018 have reached the expectation. The number also sets a new record for Thailand's No 1 source market, where the TAT operates five offices on the mainland in Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Chengdu and Guangzhou.

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Asia and the South Pacific, said: "China is Thailand's largest market with Chinese arrivals constituting one-third of the overall number of visitors to Thailand. The welcoming of the 10 millionth Chinese tourist for 2018, for the first time ever for Thailand, reiterates the Thai tourism industry's ongoing efforts to strengthen the awareness of Thailand as a top destination."

To mark the historic occasion, Ms. He WeiXin received special gifts from TAT, THAI, King Power International, ICON Siam, Central Group, Siam Wellness group and SF Corporation. The Airports of Thailand also provided a limousine transfer to her accommodation in Bangkok. Also presenting at the event were representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok, Tourist Police Bureau of Thailand and the Thai Immigration Bureau Division.

In 2017, a total of 9,805,753 Chinese visited Thailand with average expenditure estimated at 52,882 Baht per person per trip, or a total revenue of 520 billion Baht. From January to October 2018, the number of Chinese arrivals to Thailand totalled 9 million generating revenue of 495 billion Baht.

For 2019, TAT will place emphasis on promoting tourism linkages from major to secondary cities in line with the Amazing Thailand Go Local policy to better balance the distribution of tourists and tourism revenue between urban and rural areas and even out monthly travel seasonality.
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Bangkok, 17 December, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is organising sensational "Amazing Thailand Countdown 2019" celebrations in Bangkok and four emerging tourism provinces in each of the four geographical regions.

It is projecting a total turnout of more than three million foreign and domestic visitors with an estimated total expenditure of 17.37 billion Baht over the 29 December 2018 - 1 January 2019 holiday period.

Spectacular fireworks and music and dance performances celebrating Thailand's rich and diverse cultural heritage as well as the importance of travel and tourism to the national economy will be held at the following locations:

- Bangkok: ICONSIAM, the glittering new shopping, entertainment and educational complex on the Chao Phraya River, the River of Kings;
- Northern Region: Clock Tower, Chiang Rai province;
- Northeastern Region: Clock Tower, Nakhon Phanom province;
- Central Region: Clock Tower, Ratchaburi province;
- Southern Region: Pakbara Pier, Satun province.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor (above photo), said: "The Amazing Thailand Countdown is a major event that TAT has consistently organised over the years at various destinations across the country. The purpose is to promote Thailand as the ultimate destination for Thai and overseas tourists alike. It's also an effective way to help stimulate the economy and distribute income to people in every region. More importantly, it supplements our effort to make tourism sustainable.

"This is our annual New Year gift to our foreign guests and the Thai people. I hope it will raise the happiness of everyone across the country."

TAT is estimating that during the peak days of 29 December 2018 - 1 January 2019, Thailand will welcome about 520,000 foreign visitors, generating total revenue of about 7.87 billion Baht. Domestic trips are estimated at 2.71 million, generating about 9.5 billion Baht in expenditure.

The biggest turnout of spectators for the "Amazing Thailand Countdown 2019" will be in Bangkok where the countdown will begin at 18.00 Hrs. on 31 December 2018. This is six hours of back-to-back celebrations and performances based on the theme of "The River of Prosperity" being jointly organised by TAT and ICONSIAM in collaboration with numerous other private and public sector partners.

The highlight will be a magnificent display of fireworks made from Thai sticky rice to ensure minimal environmental impact. The five-minute, five-part fireworks extravaganza will showcase the history of the Chao Phraya River pertaining to the Thai way of life, traditions and legends of Siam. One part will also celebrate Thailand's global status, highlighting the flags of all countries and their linkages with Thailand through tourism, trade, education and cultural exchange.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor (5th from left) and Mr. Narong Chearavanont, Chairman of the ICONSIAM Superlux Residence Corporation (5th from right) and partners in public and private sectors at the press conference to announce the "Amazing Thailand Countdown 2019" in Bangkok.

Mr. Yuthasak said, "We want this to be the longest and grandest display of fireworks ever on the Chao Phraya River. We estimate that more than one million people will watch this display within a 2-km radius of the ICONSIAM location."

The best visibility spots have been identified as follows: Peninsula Hotel, Millennial Hilton Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel, Sathorn Bridge, Chaloem Phrakiat Park, Sathon Pier, Police Station 2, Khlong San Pier, Sampheng Parking Lot, CAT-Bang Rak Branch, Wat Suwan Pier, Siam Commercial Bank and LHONG 1919.

The evening will also see a performance of the "Khon" Thai traditional dance in honour of it being listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.

The Countdown will be broadcast live on MCOT, PPTV, True4U, TNN and Thai PBS, from 23:05 Hrs. on 31 December 2018 to 00:20 Hrs. on 1 January 2019.
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