Thais head to Japan in droves even as tour-package prices soar
Many Thai have snapped up tour packages to Japan this year as the Covid-19 crisis had kept them from visiting that country for the past two years, the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA) reported on Wednesday.
TTAA board committee member Jirawat Wongsomsri said many Thais decided to purchase tour packages to Japan even though prices have risen by 80-100 per cent compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic due to the rising global oil price.
He added that other Thais who missed this chance would have to wait for next year, when a number of airlines will operate more flights to Japan.
“The price of tour packages for five days three nights and six days four nights before the Covid crisis was around 20,000 and 30,000 baht, respectively, but it is now around 45,000 and 50,000 baht,” he pointed out.
Jirawat said tour-package prices will become more expensive instead of cheaper for trips which are not far away.
Many Thais began travelling to Japan since the country reopened with conditions in June, such as limiting the number of visitors to no more than 50,000 per day, requesting travellers to apply for visas and allowing travel only with tour operators, he said.
More Thais have flocked to Japan since October 11, as Tokyo is now issuing free visas, while a host of airlines have restarted flights, Jirawat said.
The association, as a tour wholesaler, can sell 10,000 packages to Japan for November, a 50 per cent decrease compared to 20,000 before the Covid crisis,” he added.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) executive director for East Asia Chuwit Sirivajjakul said Japanese, meanwhile, have flocked to Thailand since October 11.
He said up to 31,000 Japanese visited the kingdom between October 1 and 24, higher than about 10,000 per month before the Covid pandemic.
“However, TAT was uncertain that many Japanese in Thailand could not return to their home country as tickets to Japan were snapped up by Thais,” he said.
Japan is considered a popular destination and more Thais are likely to visit that country as the yen weakens, Chuwit said.
“TAT has cooperated with Japanese travel agents to launch tour package to attract Japanese to Thailand,” he said, adding that the packages are expected to be launched in December.
The move is in line with TAT’s plan to draw 350,000 Japanese tourists to Thailand this year, Chuwit said.