The Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in Hong Kong, Titiporn Manenet, revealed that her office has devised a plan to attract Hong Kong visitors to her country despite the intense political situation.

Titiporn said that the TAT Hong Kong Office will direct potential travelers away from Bangkok to popular destinations unaffected by political turmoil, such as Phuket, Chiang Rai, and Chiang Mai.

The adjustment in tourism strategy comes amid the ongoing political protest that prompted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration to impose an Emergency Decree in the capital, effectively causing the Hong Kong Government to raise its travel advisory to Bangkok to the highest warning level.

Director Titiporn said the announcement has scared off 24 percent or 50,000 prospective Hong Kong visitors during the Chinese New Year celebration.

She said that airlines offering direct flights from Hong Kong to destinations in Thailand have now started a promotion campaign to provide discounted tickets, citing Hong Kong Airlines is offering a one way ticket to Thailand for just 2,100 THB at the end of March. Return tickets from Hong Kong to Thailand usually cost around 12,000 THB.

In addition, Hong Kong Airlines and TAT have organized a ‘Wedding on a Plane’ event, allowing a flash wedding ceremony to be hosted on the airline’s planes on the Hong Kong-Phuket route.

More than 70 percent of Hong Kong travelers have switched to Japan, said Titiporn, who further noted that Thailand needs to step up its tourism promotion in order to take on neighbouring countries such as Malaysia which has heavily invested in its tourism campaign this year.-VNA