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Two major French travel agents have reported that Thailand remains a top-selling long-haul destination among French tourists during the winter holidays and spring break season. According to a report in Tourmag.com, a survey of French travel agents conducted by Atout France (Department of French Tourism Development) about booking trends for the winter holiday period (15 February – 15 March 2014) and Spring break (12 April – 12 May 2014) found that Thailand generated maximum sales for Climats du Monde travel agents.
Bookings were up 30% over the same period of 2013 and Thailand was continuing to attract customer inquiries. Visiteurs, a French travel agency specialising in Asian destinations also reported good sales to Asia, with Thailand being the second best selling destination after China, with a projection of 4,000 clients this year. It attributed this partly to intensive training and Thai product updates for sales staff.
France is Thailand’s fourth biggest European source of visitor arrivals, after Russia, UK and Germany. In 2013, French visitor arrivals to Thailand totalled 614,455, an increase of 6.66% over 2012. In January 2014, Thailand welcomed 71,418 French visitors, up by 8.49% over January 2013. In 2014, TAT is projecting 636,400 visitors from France.
Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Thawatchai Arunyik declared, “It is very encouraging to see that French visitors still have high regard for Thailand. Their support is very important especially because the French are known to be cultural connoisseurs with a great liking for North and Northeast Thailand. Our office in Paris is working hard to keep them briefed with the political situation in Thailand, especially the fact that their popular destinations remain entirely unaffected,” he added.
As of March 2014, there are 13 weekly direct flights linking Bangkok and Paris operated by Air France and Thai Airways International. Other airlines also bring visitors to Thailand through other points like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Helsinki, Singapore, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Colombo and Cairo.