Hua Hin eyes wellness and sports tourists

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Hua Hin Today recently spoke to Khun Isra Stapanaseth, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Director for Prachuap Khiri Khan who explained how wellness, as well as sporting events will be used to attract tourists to Hua Hin.

Tourists who have an interest in health, wellness and sports, alongside the domestic market, will be the new focus for the tourism industry in Hua Hin and throughout Prachuap Khiri Khan.

“There is huge potential for Hua Hin from wellness tourism”, Khun Isra Stapanaseth, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Director for Prachuap Khiri Khan, told Hua Hin Today.

“Wellness tourism can help to attract tourists with a higher spending power and we have already begun to market Hua Hin as a wellness destination to overseas markets”, Mr Isra added.

Khun Isra explained that twenty nine TAT offices around the world are now drafting plans on how to draw wellness tourists to Hua Hin.

He said that developing Hua Hin as a destination for wellness tourism can only be a good thing for the region.

“It will be good for everyone here, including the local people, businesses and entrepreneurs, Khun Isra said.

“The international traveler in terms of wellness normally stays longer and has more spending power”.

The average daily spend per day for international tourists to Hua Hin is between 4,000 and 5,000 baht, Khun Isra explained.

However, TAT has predicted that health and wellness tourists to the region will spend, on average, almost double that amount.

In addition to health and wellness, other segments, including the domestic market, sport tourism, digital nomads and people staying in the province for a so-called ‘workcation’ will also be the target for the tourism industry in Hua Hin.

“The domestic market currently accounts for approximately 90 percent of tourism in Hua Hin and Pranburi”, Khun Isra said.

While Hua Hin and Pranburi are already leading destinations for domestic tourists from Bangkok and surrounding areas, the aim is to draw tourists to other districts within Prachuap Khiri Khan.

“Occupancy rate of hotels in Hua Hin can hit 90 percent during the weekend,” Khun Isra said.

However, data for February from across the province’s 539 hotels and over 16,000 rooms revealed an occupancy rate of 54.6 percent.

Khun Isra said that TAT will organize events or activities that will help draw tourists to other districts in the province.

“We will aim to attract tourists who value experiences and want to take part in activities, who will stay in an area specifically to go paddle-boarding in Ao Manao, for example”.

“We are already linking up with different businesses to offer promotions to these types of tourists”, Khun Isra said.

The recent holding of the Hua Hin Women’s Marathon is another example of a large-scale sports event being held to draw tourists from all over Thailand to the region.

As well as sport, gastronomy in the form of the Taste of Prachuap campaign, will also be used to attract more tourists who value experiences, while digital nomads and people looking for a workcation may also be drawn to the province.

Khun Isra said the now twice weekly flights between Hua Hin and Chiang Mai, a well known hub for digital nomads, offers another opportunity to attract more tourists to Hua Hin.

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