Things are looking up for Thailand’s tourism sector as several entry restrictions are set to ease tomorrow (Sunday). On April 25, it was reported that 713,183 international travellers had arrived in Thailand this year, more than 50% actual tourists.
Now, the Tourism Authority of Thailand reportedly hopes to attract at least 1 million tourists every month heading into the next high season in the last quarter of 2022. TAT’s governor says the tourism market should pick up during high season, with at least 1 million foreign tourists per month from October. 1 million tourists a month would be a return to around 30% of the pre-Covid monthly arrivals
The latest TAT estimates are more realistic than earlier estimates of 10 or 15 million visitors coming to Thailand in 2022, reported in earlier articles this year. Back in November 2021 the TAT Governor predicted some 20 million visitors would visit Thailand this year.
Now the TAT says they are focusing on tapping into tourism markets from some key countries as part of a so-called ‘long haul market’. These countries include the US, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. TAT officials have been working to promote Thailand to Saudi tourists ever since Thailand and Saudi Arabia rekindled relations in January. In February, TAT greeted Saudi tourist arrivals with traditional Thai performances and a water salute at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Two of Thailand’s tourism ‘heavy hitters’, the Chinese and Russian markets, are off the table for, likely, the rest of 2022, deleting almost 35% of the pre-Covid tourism market.
In its ‘short haul market’, TAT is looking to attract tourists from India, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea. Latin American and European countries are also reportedly among short haul targets, although it wasn’t specified which ones.
After Thailand Pass started allowing people to register under its new entry rules yesterday, TAT said 40,000-50,000 people registered in the first 12 hours. TAT’s governor, Yuthasak Supasorn says, that despite tough conditions involving low travel confidence, a labour shortage in tourism, the Russia-Ukraine crisis, and a bad economy, TAT is optimistic.
“Even though there are challenging factors…our goal of 7-10 million arrivals remains within sight.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Post