SUNDAY, April 14, 2024

Thailand targeting 30m tourists next year with ‘meaningful travel’

Thailand targeting 30m tourists next year with ‘meaningful travel’

Thailand will target a whopping 2.38 trillion baht in revenue from tourists next year – or 80 per cent of the 3 trillion baht earned pre-Covid in 2019.

The bait for foreign tourists will be “reunions” in Thailand as well as “meaningful travel” (eco trips focused on sustainability), TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said on Monday.

Yuthasak was launching the “Visit Thailand Year 2022-2023: Amazing New Chapters” campaign aimed at luring back foreigners after two years at home during Covid.

The campaign is designed to restore Thailand to the top five nations with highest revenue from foreign tourists, Yuthasak said. The Kingdom ranked fourth on the list before Covid struck, the governor added.

TAT expects revenue from both domestic and foreign tourists to total between 1.25 trillion and 2.38 trillion baht in 2023, with a median of 1.73 trillion baht.

The TAT forecasts full recovery to pre-Covid levels in 2024.

Yuthasak expects between 11 million and 30 million foreign tourists to visit Thailand next year, generating revenue of 580 billion-1.5 trillion baht.

“But if the Chinese government allows its citizens to travel outside the country, the number of foreign arrivals will definitely reach 30 million next year,“ he added.

He said the TAT is targeting high-spending tourists from all regions throughout the year.

Thailand will tap new markets such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and other Middle East countries, while targeting new cities in current markets such as the United States.

TAT expects foreign tourists to spend less money next year due to inflation and Russia’s war in Ukraine. It forecasts average spending of 50,000-54,000 baht per trip, compared with 77,000 baht in the first quarter this year.

However, Yuthasak said the weaker baht would boost foreign tourists’ spending power and encourage them to visit Thailand.

Tourist arrivals so far this year total 2.7 million but that figure is expected to rise to 10 million by year-end, the governor said.

However, the TAT has lowered its forecast of revenue from foreign tourists in 2022 from Bt1.5 trillion to Bt1.2 trillion as the global economic downturn has affected spending.

Meanwhile trips by tourists from nearby countries such as Malaysia lasted an average of only two days, compared with the average 10-14 days for tourists from further afield.

“So, the number of foreign tourists will hit the target in 2022 but the revenue goal of Bt1.5 trillion will not be met,” Yuthasak said.

The TAT forecasts 117 million-135 million domestic travellers next year, generating between 670 billion to 880 billion in revenue from an average of 4,200-4,800 baht per trip. The campaign “Thais can visit amazing Thailand 365 Days” is being launched to boost domestic travel.