CENTARA Hotels & Resorts is supporting the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) efforts to boost arrivals from the Middle East by offering benefits to Arabian travellers between now and October 31.
Among the incentives are Arabic newspapers and television channels, exclusive family floors and private lounge areas for women and children, halal and regional Arabian cuisine in restaurants and room service, Arabic-speaking guest relations staff, and assisted hospital visits for those in Bangkok on medical programmes.
During the Ramadan period in August, the traditional pre-dawn meal of suhoor will be served. After sunset, the fast-breaking refreshments known as iftar will be provided. Extended spa opening hours and a private evening lounge will also be available.
The benefits will be offered at select Centara properties in Bangkok, Pattaya, Samui, Phuket, Krabi and Chiang Mai.
According to TAT, the Middle East is a fast growing market for Thai tourism, with arrivals to Thailand from the Middle East jumping from 483,983 in 2009 to 595,298 last year, an increase of 23 per cent. The leading Middle East source markets for Thailand are the UAE, Kuwait and Oman.
The recent sharp hike in the number of arrivals can be attributed to greater ease in obtaining visas and increasing direct air links. Currently, citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE can obtain visa-free entry to Thailand, and 12 airlines connect Thailand to nine countries in the Middle East.