In 2018 more than 100,000 South Africans headed for Thailand to enjoy a sun- and adventure-filled holiday. What makes this exotic South East Asian destination so special? Thompsons Holidays asks Lesley Simpson, marketing representative for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in South Africa, to explain
People from all over the world head for Thailand to enjoy a beach holiday, explore the country’s numerous temples and sights, and experience the country’s legendary hospitality and friendliness. And South Africans have followed suit, enjoying all that this stunning destination has to offer.
"This is hugely exciting and reflects on the various partnerships that have been formed with Travel specialists in order to appeal to different markets,” Lesley says. “In the five years we have represented TAT, we have watched the figures increase year on year, starting with 75,748 in 2013 and now 102,000 in 2018.”
According to Lesley, Thailand not only offers incredible value for money for South Africans; it also offers a rich variety of destinations, each providing unique experiences. From the beautiful city of Chiang Mai in the mountainous north of the country to Kanchanbaburi in the west, from Krabi in the south to Sukhothai, birthplace of Thai culture, visitors can explore and experience fascinating traditions and history, as well as fabulous food and spectacular landscapes. And let’s not forget the numerous beach destinations that offer sun, sea and sand as only the Thai’s can, with massages on the beach, delightful entertainment and, of course, glorious food.
Currently, TAT is developing secondary destinations and cities to become major tourism centres, providing visitors with fascinating in-depth experiences that include lifestyle sports and wellness centres as well as immersive community-based holidays where visitors can learn first-hand about the people who live in this beautiful country, their cultures and traditions.
"The aim is to provide tourists with rich local experiences while allowing them to travel sustainably,” Lesley explains.
Ultimately, visitors have access to Thailand's major cities as well as smaller, secondary cities – but that’s not all. They also have access to neighbouring countries. “For example, there are 29 destinations adjacent to primary cities offering 22 airports and 10 with immigration checkpoints," Lesley adds.
Green tourism has become one of Thailand's major selling points, with 127 national parks – 22 of which are marine parks – offering visitors the opportunity to see a diverse range of fauna and flora and some of the world's most critically endangered species, an ecosystem that Thailand is committed to protecting and conserving for generations to come.
The country's beauty – from its mountain peaks to its pristine, picture-perfect beaches and palm-fringed islands – makes it the perfect destination for lovers of all ages who come to Thailand to immerse themselves in the romance and uniqueness of their surroundings.
For more information on booking a holiday to Thailand with Thompsons Holidays, contact 011 770 7700