Thailand hopes to draw more U.S. visitors with increased flights. // © 2017 iStock
On Jan. 5, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and EVA Airways Corporation, a five-star Taiwanese airline, formalized and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the intention of collaborating to promote travel from North America to Thailand. EVA Air, a Star Alliance member, operates 80 weekly flights between North America and Taiwan — including from Western U.S. hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Houston — as well as 26 connecting flights per week that then transport passengers to Bangkok.
Why It Matters:
Without any direct flights currently available between the U.S. and Thailand, TAT considers this strategic partnership the next best thing. In 2016, Thailand received 956,797 U.S. visitors (more than 10 percent year-over-year growth), and TAT hopes that the joint marketing initiative — coupled with additional support from travel agents — will help the country reach the 1 million mark.
- Out of the 80 weekly flights between North America and Taiwan, EVA Air operates three daily flights from Los Angeles, two daily flights from San Francisco, 10 weekly flights from Seattle, one daily flight from Houston, four weekly flights from Chicago and two daily flights from New York, as well as weekly flights from Toronto and Vancouver.
- About 50 percent of passengers flying on EVA Air’s Taipei to Bangkok route are from North America and Europe.
- The average length of stay for Americans in Thailand is more than 14 days, and the per capita spending is $143.16 U.S. per day.
- Out of the 956,797 U.S. visitors to Thailand in 2016, 50.44 percent were from the Western U.S.
What They Are Saying:
“This MOU will help us to target tourists from the Americas — one of our most important and fastest-growing markets,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of TAT. “EVA Air is a vital link between North America and Asia as there are currently no direct flights from the U.S. and Canada to Thailand. By working with EVA Air on tourism initiatives, we can help get word out about Thailand’s attractions and boost visitor numbers even more in 2017 and beyond.”
“We are delighted that this MOU has marked another significant cooperation between TAT and Eva Airways to promote Thailand as a short-haul destination for Taiwanese tourists and long-haul destination for travelers from North America,” said Golden Kou, a spokesman for EVA Air.