Thai visitors to Japan leading rebound in outbound tourism
As many as 1 million Thais will visit Japan this year as Thailand’s recovering outbound tourism market could reach 70% of its pre-pandemic level, industry associations said.
The number of outbound tourists could reach 6 million to 7 million this year, equivalent to 70% of the 11 million to 12 million Thais who travelled abroad in 2019, the year before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Thai Travel Services Association.
Charoen Wangananont, president of the Thai Travel Agents Association, said as many as 1 million Thais will visit Japan this year.
The reopening of flight routes between Thailand and Japan and the stronger purchasing power of the baht in Japan compared to European destinations are two major factors driving the number of Thais visiting Japan up, Chareon said.
The third is the price of tour packages to Japan, which have fallen by 20% since Songkran, Chareon said, adding that tour package prices have fallen to 25,000 to 29,000 baht from 40,000 to 50,000 baht before the festival.
According to the Japan National Tourism Organisation, 244,700 Thais visited Japan during the first quarter of this year. This was equivalent to 70% of the 347,937 Thais who visited Japan in the same quarter of 2019.
The numbers are rising.
In March, 108,000 Thais visited Japan, equivalent to 73% of the 147,443 who visited in March 2019, according to the Japan National Tourism Organisation.
Thailand is the fifth largest source of tourists for Japan, following South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the United States.
In 2019, almost 32 million tourists visited Japan, with slightly more than 1.3 million Thai tourists accounting for 4.1% of the total.
Thailand is Japan’s number one market for inbound tourists in Asean. It is also the only Asean country whose visitors to Japan top 1 million a year, Chareon said.