Sanjay Pahwa, November 14, 2012: The Tourism Authority of Thailand is to host 12 contestants of a Vietnamese beauty pageant as part of a new promotional effort to boost visitor arrivals from one of the kingdom’s fastest growing source-markets.
Between 14-18 November, the contestants of Miss Teen Vietnam 2012 will visit tourism spots in Bangkok, Samut Songkhram, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya before returning home for the final pageant.Featuring a rich mosaic of these tourist spots in the backdrop, the pageant is projected to be viewed by more than seven million Vietnamese on Cable TV channel HTV3 as well as via live broadcast on YouTube. Although this is the 7th year of the event, it will be the first time for it to feature backdrop attractions and activities out of Vietnam.Thanks to close geographical proximity, good access and visa-free facilities under the ASEAN umbrella, Vietnam has become one of the fastest growing sources of visitor arrivals to Thailand.
In January – September 2012, Thailand welcomed 497,289 Vietnamese visitors, an increase of 23% over the same period of 2011.
One key segment within this group is the Vietnamese independent traveller. Research shows that this target segment is a top consumer of fashion and entertainment products with modern lifestyles and high levels of Internet access.
A beauty contest is seen as being the perfect and most cost-effective way of exposing Thailand’s key tourism attractions, especially those within driving distance of Bangkok, to such potentially high-spending visitors. The TAT is making increasing use of such pageants as part of its targeted “celebrity marketing” strategy.
Organised by the Vietnamese events company TVMIndex, the pageant is supported for the first time by TAT’s Ho Chi Minh City office.
Said the Office Director Ms. Chutathip Chareonlarp, “After evaluating our advertising in the official Vietnamese TV, we felt we were not getting value for money, as both local and national advertising are quite expensive and there was little evidence that the ads were reaching the target group.
“However, the Miss Teen Vietnam pageant will be broadcast on regular TV channels as well as Cable TV and YouTube. The event organizer (TVMIndex) is projecting a viewership of 7.12 million, most of them women and young people in major cities such as Can Tho, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The viewers will be exposed to the best of Thai culture, which will generate a positive image of the country.”
Ms Chutathip thanked TVMIndex, TAT local offices as well as the numerous hotels and tourist attractions in Thailand for their cooperation and support.
In addition to their stay in Hua Hin, which will be at the InterContinental Hotel, the contestants and members of the entourage will be hosted to a reception at the Centara LardPrao Hotel in Bangkok.
Vietnamis a very important partner country for Thailand in the context of cultural, social, political and economic relations, both bilaterally as well as under the aegis of regional sub-groupings such as the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In 2011, Vietnamese visitors to Thailand totalled 514,801, up 29.5% over 2010. The average length of stay was 6.04 days per person per visit with an average daily expenditure of 4,035 baht per person. Another interesting statistic from the Vietnamese market is that in 2011, a total of 61% were repeat visitors.
Top five destinations for Vietnamese visitors are Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Kanchanaburi and Udon Thani. New trend destinations gaining popularity are Northeast Thailand, Samui Island and Phuket.
As of October 2012, there were 104 direct flights between Bangkok and major Vietnamese cities served by Thai Airways International, Vietnam Airlines, Thai Air Asia, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa.