Thailand is looking to Indian weddings as a new source of tourism following the loss of Chinese visitors this year.
Nikkei reports that officials believe Indian weddings could provide a new source of revenue for the country’s tourism sector, with officials already saying that Indian tourists are their priority this year.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) says that some 337,282 Indian tourists arrived in Thailand in the first seven months of 2022, including an average of 4,000 per day since 1 July when Thailand fully reopened its borders.
The TAT has held roadshows in key Indian cities to promote the country’s capacity for large events, including weddings.
“Indian tourists are the priority this year,” TAT Deputy Gov. Tanes Petsuwan was quoted as saying by Nikkei.
“We are already getting strong demand, and they are happy to spend here in Thailand.”
Meanwhile, the Thai-Indian Wedding Association (TIWA) says that a shared history between India and Southeast Asia, particularly concerning Buddhist and Hindu traditions, means that Thailand should be an attractive place for Indian couples.
So far, Indian weddings have been reportedly held in areas known for beautiful scenery and comfortable beach resorts, including Phuket, Hua Hin, Cha-am, and Pattaya.
The TAT expects up to 400 Indian weddings in 2022, and believes Thailand will see as many as 500,000 Indian tourists by the end of the year.
Wealthy Indian families who hold their weddings in Thailand often charter planes to carry as many as 300 guests, reserving entire hotels for days.
Thai government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri said this week that Thailand has received over 4 million visitors this year, with the top five source countries being Malaysia, India, Laos, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.