Two of southern Thailand’s biggest tourism centres, Phuket Province and Koh Samui of Surat Thani province, joined the “Amazing Road Show to Kazakhstan 2015” campaign to open new tourist markets and establish direct flights to the regions, the National News Bureau of Thailand reported.
Tens of thousands of Kazakhs travel to Phuket each year, said Vice President of the Phuket Tourism Association Bhuritt Maswongssa, according to the report. Most come in the high season and travel by charter flight. Opening a direct flight between the countries would promote year round tourism, not only in the high season, and thereby increase tourism numbers overall.
Representatives of the Phuket Tourism Association were to meet with Air Astana representatives on June 17 to discuss the possibility of an Astana-Phuket flight. On June 19, the Thai tourism delegates were to meet with Kazakh officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss tourism between the two nations and other forms of cooperation, the Thai news outlet said.
The Amazing Road Show campaign, held from June 15–20 in Almaty and Astana, was organised by the Tourism Association of Thailand.
In December 2014, Air Astana launched a twice-a-week direct flight from Astana to Bangkok, but the flight does not operate year round. Direct flights between Almaty and Bangkok were launched in 2003.
According to data on tourism from the World Bank, 26 million people travelled to Thailand as tourists in 2013. Kazakhstan’s outbound tourism has grown steadily over the past decade, with more than 10 million people travelling out of the country on leisure last year, according to the World Bank.