Connect with us

Thailand

Thai Tourism chases the pink dollar as one of its “new shades”

Published

 on 

by Phatarawadee Phataranawik and The ThaigerWhile Thailand is waiting for a Life Partnership Bill to become law, and maybe a move towards full same-sex marriage down the track, advocates say they are encouraged by the country’s efforts in attracting LGBT tourists.

The recent approval of the Life Partnership Bill by the Thai cabinet was a significant step – the first such move for an Asian country – but it still must be passed by the NLA with elections and coronations likely to impede any progress in coming months.

But none of the protracted paperwork is stopping Thailand from chasing the pink dollar and marketing tourism products to LGBT travellers.

With a social climate widely seen as tolerant towards non-heterosexual orientations, Thailand has been called a haven for the gay and transgender lifestyle. The authorities are increasingly seeking to capitalise on that global reputation by encouraging more visits by foreign LGBT tourists, as well as the rights activists and artists who support the community.

Both the public and private sectors are preparing to host events in 2019 that will appeal to that social segment.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) runs marketing campaigns aimed at LGBT tourism and, among many other plans, the Hong Kong-based Sunpride Foundation will next November be bringing Asia’s largest LGBT art exhibition to Bangkok.

“LGBTQ are seen as a high-potential market with an above-average level of disposable income,” TAT deputy governor Srisuda Wanapinyosak told The Nation Weekend.

“In tourism terms, they tend to travel more frequently than the demographic average.”

In a recent report, LGBT Capital estimated the global LGBT population at 496 million, with 4.5 million LGBT people living in Thailand. Global purchasing power was calculated at US$3.6 trillion and spending on tourism at $5.3 billion.

Thai Tourism chases the pink dollar as one of its "new shades" | News by Thaiger

Srisuda said the TAT had begun targeting this segment five years ago, but the market remained niche and hasn’t yet reached its full potential. With the Cabinet’s endorsement of the Life Partnership Bill, though – however troubled its future might be – the marketing is growing more aggressive both domestically and globally.

“The key to tapping into the LGBTQ market is to understand the diversity of preferences and respond accordingly,” she said. “It’s also important to welcome LGBT people genuinely and not be superficially ‘LGBT-friendly’.”

There are three main components to the TAT drive – events spanning entertainment and lifestyles like the Songkran festival and the Wonderfruit and White Party gatherings; high quality in the destinations, hospitality and cuisine on offer; and legal support from the government.

The TAT hosted an LGBTQ symposium in Bangkok in September that drew travel agents from 50 countries.

This month Srisuda will lead a road show in Spain. About 20 Thai tour operators will join her at Fitur, an international tourism-trade fair being held in Madrid.

“Fitur is one of biggest tourism fairs in southern Europe and features a Gay Pavilion,” she said. “Thailand will have a presence as usual, but this year for the first time we’ll also have a booth in the Gay Pavilion.”

Spain, of course, has already had a good look at Thailand. Spaniard Angela Ponce Camacho was in Bangkok in December as the first transgender contestant ever entered in the Miss Universe pageant. She used her time well, raising awareness about gender and LGBT issues as well as boosting Thai tourism on Instagram.

You can read the rest of this article in The Nation Weekend HERE.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

The Thaiger is Thailand's largest online portal for news, videos and information.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World7 mins ago

New drug marks major milestone in slowing Alzhemier’s

World Cup17 mins ago

400 to 500 migrant workers in Qatar died due to World Cup, not 6,500

Visa1 hour ago

Thailand advises Indians to obtain visa prior to travelling to avoid long queues

Sponsored1 min ago

Krungthong Plaza offers endless choices of well-selected plus-size fashion products

Thailand2 hours ago

Driver furious with Bangkok shopping mall after foreigner accidently causes damage to her car

Politics2 hours ago

Iran promises Thailand it won’t attack Israeli tourists

Crime2 hours ago

Korean woman arrested for 5 million baht theft, 6-year overstay

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Tourism3 hours ago

Japan is the No.1 tourist destination among Thais

Cambodia3 hours ago

10,000 Angkor Wat residents facing mass eviction

Thailand4 hours ago

Parents seek justice after 4 year old child dies after mysterious fall at school

Bangkok4 hours ago

Popcorn promotion: people capitalise on all you can eat

Crime4 hours ago

Violent criminals in Thailand to be tagged for 10 years after release to protect women

Chiang Mai5 hours ago

Chiang Mai farmers ordered not to move pigs to prevent African Swine Fever spread

Thailand5 hours ago

Truck overturns carrying 2,560 crates of beer in central Thailand

Tourism6 hours ago

Bangkok’s most famous gruesome museum

Thailand6 hours ago

Driver surrenders to police after hit-and-run in Pattaya

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending