Mr Pramookpisit made the announcement after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Zhang Sihua, President of Travel Wedding (Beijing) Co Ltd, at the Kata Beach Resort & Spa on Sunday (Oct 30) to launch a series of travel packages aimed at the Chinese wedding market.
Present to witness the signing were Anoma Vongyai, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket office; Wang Huijuan, head of the Phuket Consular Office, which is attached to the Chinese Consulate in Songkhla; and Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Thawornwat Kongkaew.
“Our goal is to host weddings for 2,000 couples within three years,” Mr Pramookpisit said. “Hopefully this will help increase wedding tourism in the future. Right now our target customer is the Chinese, which is our largest tourist group in Thailand and continues to grow.”
The campaign will promote tourism to Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi by introducing Chinese tourists to a series of wedding and honeymoon products, such as honeymoons at the beach, he added. Hotels in Kata Group Resort include Kata Beach Resort and Spa, Beyond resort in Karon, Beyond Resort in Krabi and Phang Nga, and Beyond Resort at Khao Lak.
“We will have 36 packages that cover weddings, honeymoons and pre-wedding and family photos. We will also consult with the company (Travel Wedding Co) for marketing plans to make our products widely known among Chinese and provide easy access for our products to them,” Mr Pramookpisit explained.
“The Chinese market is the biggest tourism market in the world and it continues to show rapid and consistent growth. The Kata Group is proud to be working together with Travel Wedding Co and we look forward to understanding our target customer better. We need insight into Chinese consumer behaviour so we can introduce the right products and service that satisfy them,” he said.
Mr Zhang pointed out that China is home to about 1.3 billion people and each year about 10 million couples marry.
“Our wedding industry is valued at about 1.5 billion yuan, or about 2.7% GDP. More than five million couples each year take part in wedding photoshoots or honeymoons outside of China,” he said.
“Phuket has the most beautiful beaches in Asia and the island’s charm is well known by tourists around the world. It is the place where honeymooners want to be,” he added.
Mr Zhang said that the Chinese travel wedding and honeymoon market was growing due to rising incomes in China.
“Moreover, the development of basic infrastructure at tourism locations throughout the world and the fast growth the airline industry also help this industry. All these factors are contributing to changes to traditional weddings. Today people can choose a wedding, pre-wedding photography and honeymoon that suits their lifestyle,” he said.
In particular, many young Chinese couples are fond of the idea of being married outside their home country, he added.
“I think they not only learn the culture and heritage of that country, but also other aspects that differentiate from their own culture. Phuket has all this to offer… culture, food and beautiful beaches… so this campaign is great opportunity for Phuket to pursue,” Mr Zhang said.
“Phuket has a strong selling point to Chinese. I believe our collaboration – our vertical integration – will provide the best packages for these couples and strengthen relationships in the wedding industry and tourism in general,” Mr Zhang concluded.