Thailand casting tried and tested lures to win back tourists


As expected, Thailand’s embattled tourism industry is trying to win back tourists by casting its tried and tested lures: cheap airfares and hotel rooms.

AirAsia has launched a deal called “Mai Ben Rai, Thailand,” running from now until December 11, for travel between December 5, 2011 and March 31, 2012.

Domestic one-way flights start at 790 baht (not including tax). International flights are also on sale. For example, one-way flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong are 2,590 baht.

Thai Airways, meanwhile, is trying to get locals back in the air. The national carrier is offering a “12 Days Special” that includes round-trip fares from Suvarnabhumi Airport to international destinations for travel from December 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012.

Prices for round-trip travel from Bangkok to European cities start at 18,530 baht, while the Bangkok-Los Angeles route is on offer for 26,605 baht. As usual, taxes and surcharges are excluded. The sale ends December 9.

Hotels are also offering special deals to counter Thailand’s travel slump. The Nation reported that the Thai Hotels Association (THA) is teaming up with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to launch a “buy-one-get-one-free” scheme.

More than100 hotels nationwide will take part in the promotion –- mostly three- and four-star properties. The deal begins December 15 and will be promoted through the TAT’s global offices.

Occupancy levels in Bangkok’s hotels dropped 40 percent this month as international tourists are still worried about the floods, said the THA.