Tourism will get a 100m booster
TAT allocates funds to support recovery
Tourists queue at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Thursday. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has set a target of 7-10 million foreign tourists this year. Arnoon Chonmahatrakul
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has put together a budget of more than 100 million baht to revive the affected tourism sector and will submit it to the Economic Situation Management Center for approval.
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the target for this year is 7-10 million foreign tourists. That target will double to 20 million, or 50% of 2019 levels, by next year, he said, with most of it in the high-value segment.
According to TAT, in 2024, arrivals should increase to 25-30 million, and total revenue will fully recover to 3 trillion baht.
“The budget for fiscal year 2023, starting in October 2022, aims to attract at least 10 million tourists this year,” Yutasak said.
The budget will be allocated to a so-called “tourism boost”, such as increasing airline capacity to 50% of pre-pandemic levels.
TAT’s overseas offices have been ordered to start discussions and work with airlines to increase the country’s capacity, in particular with large charter aircraft.
Mr. Yutasak said joint marketing campaigns would help raise load factors to 70-80%, encouraging more airlines to join the campaigns.
The agency is already in talks with Thai Airways and is doing market research to launch charter flights with other airlines to support certain markets.
If TAT makes a deal with airlines, more international flights will arrive in Thailand by August at the earliest.
Mr. Yutasak said TAT’s Moscow office has the potential to attract 1 million tourists this year, but there are barriers to remittances and a lack of flights, prompting the agency to try to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
The five biggest home markets from 2019, including Laos, Malaysia and South Korea, are also important targets, while Thailand awaits an easing of Chinese travel rules.
TAT is still waiting for a sign from the Chinese government on whether it will allow international travel in October or during the Chinese New Year in 2023.
Mr. Yutasak said that India has maintained a strong momentum. There may not be a low season for Thai tourism, as it enjoys strong support from this market.
He said another way to boost tourism is to get local operators to more international roadshows and trade shows in potential destinations such as smaller cities in India, the Middle East and Indonesia.