Chris Lee - ITB Berlin Kongress

itb.berlin.de

Chris Lee - ITB Berlin Kongress

LGBT and

Amazing Thailand

A view from Chris Lee, Managing Director, LTC

ITB Berlin, 8 th March 2013


Points of Discussion

• The Thailand Numbers in 2012

• How has Thailand developed it’s LGBT tourism?

• What are the Challenges for Thailand?

• How is Thailand different to other countries in the region?

• The Economics of LGBT

• In Summary


Thailand, The Numbers in 2012

Europe 5,617,817 (Up 10%) Worldwide 22,303,065 (Up 16%)

Russia 1,317,387 (Up 25%) China 2,789,345 (Up 62%)

UK 870, 164 (Up 3%) Malaysia 2,560,963 (Up 2%)

Germany 681,566 (Up 10%) Japan 1,371,253 (Up 22%)

France 572,966 (Up 11%) Korea 1,169,131 (Up 16%)

Sweden 350,565 (Down 6%) India 1,015, 865 (Up 11%)

Switzerland 190,784 (Up 12%) Australia 930,599 (Up 12%)

Total worldwide visitor arrivals 22,303,065 Up 16%


How has

Thailand developed?

• Gay travellers have come to Thailand because of its tolerance and

freedom

• Gay travellers did not “discover” Thailand and have never ever

developed the country to being like it is. It has always been this way!

• Gay travellers discovered the tolerance of Thailand, found it a total

breath of fresh air, and in some cases have decided to make it their

home as a result of its tolerance


What are the

Challenges for Thailand?

• The Perception of the Sex Industry in Thailand remains the most

sensitive issue

• This is particularly sensitive with the LGBT market where historically

‘Gay’ operators in Thailand have promoted inappropriate holidays

• Thailand Tourism is happy to support legitimate holiday promotions for

any market but will not be associated in any way with ‘sex tourism’


How is

Thailand Different from other countries?

• Double rooms not Twin can be requested

• No need to Pretend

• Be who you are openly and you will be welcome

• ALL hotels are ‘gay friendly’


The

Economics of LGBT

• Higher spend

• Longer stay

• Trouble free

• More recession proof


In Summary

• Thailand has such a tolerant society

• Thailand has complete freedom of sexuality and expression

• So for the gay or straight question it is akin to a choice – do you prefer

football or tennis, you prefer pink or blue… do you prefer men or

ladies…. But ultimately the whole thing being no big deal

• It’s ultimately a person’s own choice what they do and no one else’s

business – as long as it doesn’t interfere with anyone else and their

beliefs, you are free to choose to do, to be and to behave as you wish

• People are not looked down, and laughter and smiles would be the

result of laughing with you as opposed to at you


International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association

Thailand Members

1. Sareeraya Villas & Suites, Samui

2. Paresa Resort Phuket

3. Le Meridien Khao Lak Beach & Spa Resort, Khao Lak

4. Bandara Hotels & Resorts Bangkok & Samui

5. Baan Souy Resort, Pattaya

6. Napasai by Orient-Express., Samui

7. 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai

8. Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park

9. Hotel Sofitel So Bangkok

10. Asian Trails

11. Worldwide Destinations Asia


Khob Khun Krup

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