Khiri Asia opens new Bangkok office
Khiri Asia has opened an office in downtown Bangkok to service rising demand from Asian visitors to Bangkok and Thailand, especially the Indian market.
Khiri Asia is the specialist division within the Khiri Travel Group dedicated to bringing Asian travellers to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The new office, which opened 1 February, means that Khiri Travel now has nine offices across the region.
The new Bangkok office has three full-time staff, two of Indian origin. “With the opening we now have a completely separate unit closer to our customers in Bangkok,” said Ashok Kapur, CEO of Khiri Asia.
Staff at the new office in Bangkok - which is in the Charn Issara II Tower in Petburi Road beside Thonglor - have already handled meetings and incentive groups from India. Between 3 and 7 February, Khiri Asia arranged four nights in Bangkok and Chiang Mai for 40 members of the CEO Club of India. They spent two nights at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai and two nights at the Bangkok Marriott Resort and Spa on the Chao Phraya river.
They joined in eco-adventure activities such as the Flight of the Gibbon in Chiang Mai and top-end river trips in Bangkok with Manohra Cruises.
Kapur said that urban middle class demand from India continues to surge, driven by a roaring economy, an abundance of direct flights to Bangkok from major cities in north and south India, and an easier visa on arrivals situation at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok.
Increasing demand from Indian travellers is backed up by PATA head office statistics which show that 790,000 Indians visited Thailand in 2010, an increase of 29% on 2009. Since 2006, Thailand has averaged an annual increase from India of 14.5%. PATA reports that by comparison Cambodia in 2010 only received about 13,500 Indians and Laos a modest 3,000 or so. However, Indian increases to both destinations have averaged around 10 to 11% for the last five years.
PATA numbers show that Southeast Asia is India’s preferred destination in Asia Pacific with the top three most popular places being (in order) Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
Khiri Travel Group co-founder, Mr Willem Niemeijer, said that with a few minor service adjustments Thailand could boost demand from India further. “I’d like to see a little bit more flexibility from hotels in food catering for Indian guests. I’m sure this will come.”
Niemeijer added that Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam all needed to create awareness campaigns in India to really lift numbers.
“However, the prospects for Khiri Asia are overall very promising, especially if India maintains strong economic growth at home.”