Thailand: ideal for affordable luxury travels
Hotels, airlines and other operators offer unmatched best value deals
When Indians first think of travelling abroad, the destination that comes to their mind is Thailand. With the competitive pricing across segments, the destination brings a sense of luxury to the tourists, especially Indians.
When Indian tourists begin planning holidays overseas, their dream itinerary is filled with luxury hotels and resorts, exotic food and sightseeing that will fill the memory card of their phones or cameras with varied pictures and videos of their voyage but also be the best value that money can buy. Expectations, especially those of the Indian tourists, have no boundaries, but the reality is always hard especially for those with limits on budgets for a particular trip.
Studies show that Thailand meets the expectations of average Indian travellers and that is one of the reasons behind the steady growth in their numbers in Thailand, mainly Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket.
A luxury escape that the tourist is looking for should come with all the ingredients to make it very different from day-to-day life. From the hotel and food, to excursions, shopping and entertainment, a feel of luxury in all of these activities during a voyage makes the trip a truly unforgettable one. In Thailand, hotels, resorts, airlines and all other operators offer unmatched best value deals that complete the dream of a luxury vacation that remains affordable.
“The biggest advantage of holidaying in Thailand for a first-time traveller or even a repeat traveller who wants to have a luxury holiday on a budget is the lower cost of air tickets. Thailand is one country which has everything from romantic and beautiful beaches, and from museums to historical sites and offers amazing Thai food catering to interests of every traveller. The quality of accommodation options within budget is unmatched without burning one’s pocket,” says Moumita Das Talukdar, owner of Tripify Travels, a Kolkata-based tour planner who customises shoestring travel.
Breaking the myth of high-end expenses is a big task for any tourism board. “We have launched a dedicated website for the first time travellers to Thailand. The idea is to reach out to those people who have never travelled before, help them with important and authentic information like how to reach, where to stay, what to do after you reach there, local transportation options, what to eat and such things. Through our interactive website thailandfirstvisit.com we are connecting the consumers with the private verified tour organisers and other partners. The travellers can contact these organisers directly regarding accommodation, theme park tours, shopping and airline tickets like a one-stop shop. While the travellers can feel secure as all of these are verified by the tourism board, at the same time our partners can also offer best value deals directly to the customers who want to spend carefully,” says Isra Stapanaseth, director (New Delhi), Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Many airlines flying to Thailand allow confirmed economy passengers to bid for business class upgrade a week before the flight date. All you have to do is wait for the bid email, set your price, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be flying business class at a throwaway price and yet enjoy the best in-flight hospitality. You can continue making the most of everything with some of the credit/debit cards offering you to earn double reward points that will allow you a luxury Uber Black ride or, will let you enjoy a glass of champagne thanks to complimentary lounge access via your travel rewards card. Luxury accommodation actually costs a lot. But the key is in knowing where, when and how to book luxury on the low. By unlocking insider pricing, using value coupons, keeping a tab on early bird prices and making the right combination of paying options, you can actually land in a super spacious luxury hotel or resort room with lots of benefits like free nights, free dinner and spa vouchers which otherwise would cost a bomb.
Not just the young millennial DINK (Dual Income No Kid) or family travellers who typically travel in groups of three to six (couples, kid/s, parents), but a number of senior citizens too travel for the first time. For them, Thailand is a very convenient option as in many cases their children may have already travelled and feel secure enough to send their parents to a known country.
“We see the potential of this segment. These people have the time and no limitations. All of them are not necessarily rich, but to them, we offer the emotional side of Thailand – a comfortable stay with all the modern facilities in an affordable budget,” says Stapanaseth.
The quality and price in which a Thailand trip can be made is dream come true for any backpacker. “Thailand is the best destination for luxury vacation even on a very tight budget for the first time travellers. It brings a smile on every budget traveller who is also looking for luxury, for they get the great combination of stunning landscapes, beaches, water activities, food, culture and most importantly the good vibes. And with the visa-free arrival, the entry has become even more cost effective for the Indians,’’ says Debjani Lahiri, a seasoned backpacker blogger.
Online travel agents like expedia or makemytrip offer incredible discounts on luxury properties. “Thailand is a great place for someone who loves travelling but also is careful about spending money. Thailand offers a plethora of options that can be perfect for a first-time traveller, especially because all the choices are pretty visible online and if you’re planning slightly ahead of time, such offers can be easily availed. Also, you can easily choose what you want to spend on – be it food, transport, or stay,” comments Poorna Banerjee, a food blogger who frequently visits Thailand and recently planned a trip with her parents.
From local food to street shopping everything comes at a reasonable price in Thailand. Indians do spend a large amount of their budget in shopping, specially picking good quality clothes from various markets which are open round the clock. After a full day’s outing and a little rest, nightlife in top cities of Thailand gives ample opportunity to enjoy, relax and be entertained. There are also several Indian eateries in busy tourist districts with vegetarian and Jain options, all served at a very nominal rate.
For budget luxury, Indian tourists also head to other destinations like Singapore, Malaysia or Dubai. However, only few young adventurous travellers plan a trip to Europe on a limited budget. Most Indians would perhaps not take such risks and prefer to go to destinations closer home and where all elements of the trip are known and within their desired budget. Easy flight connections, hassle-free entry and too many options customised for the Indians, coupled with the fact that almost every Indian travel agent and tour operator trying to sell Thailand makes the job easier for travellers to pick Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi or Pattaya and for the repeat visitors, newer destinations like Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Koh Chang, Phi Phi Islands, Kanchanaburi and the likes. It is the well-coordinated offering from the entire tourism industry of Thailand to serve big and charge less. And this is where Thailand beats all others in terms of offering luxury at an affordable cost.