Kuoni announces tie up with Thailand tourism authority

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Mumbai, Oct 21 (UNI) City-based travel firm Kuoni today announced a tie up with Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to extend its portfolio in the country from six to 16.

Television personality Mandira Bedi unveiled the ''Kuoni- Thailand'' brochure under the tie up, that will focus on seven components of Thailand, including ''Cultimo'' -- a culture based package and ''Ananea''-- environmentally friendly body and soul holiday.

Speaking on the occasion Kuoni, Chief Operational Officer -Outbound Division, Sunil Gupta said ''This is the first step to elevate Thailand as a holiday destination for the evolved travellers, based on reliability, passion and authenticity. Contrary to popular perception that places Thailand as a first holiday destination, the country plays hosts to more repeat visitors from India. Kuoni would try and corner the premium segment of travellers to Thailand and increase the number of tourists from India.'' India has eight million travellers out of which only 25 per cent are geniune holiday makers, he pointed out.

Denying that the global economic slowdown would adversely affect the tourist industry, Mr Gupta said that traffic, especially in the near haul destinations will not be hit much. ''Indian travellers now have much more money and are one of the top spenders. They are also increasingly trying out new activities on holidays other than shopping,'' he said.

According to TAT director Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, a new office will be opened in the city to cater to the western and southern regions of the country. ''We have seen phenomenal growth since we opened our office in New Delhi five years ago. This year five lakh Indians visited Thailand, and we expect the figure to touch six lakh next year. We expect India and China to propel our growth in tourism.'' UNI ZC RN VKG1726

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