Thailand sets new international tourism revenue target
Saturday, 16/09/2023, 10:02
Thailand has set a new target of earning 3 trillion THB (about 85 billion USD) from international visitors and turning the country into a sports and entertainment centre, according to Minister of Tourism and Sports Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol.
Sudawan said that the government aims to achieve this ambitious target as soon as possible, but it needs more time to draft an action plan.
She affirmed that Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has given her ministry the tools to attract more tourists, starting with eliminating visa requirements for some travellers and easing the travel process at airports, adding that the ministry have to draw up a lot more projects to help achieve the targets.
She underlined that given the new target of 3 trillion THB, the tourism projects over the next four years should be large and consistent, not one-time events, creating a new reputation for Thailand by using soft power, she said. The ministry is focusing on sports and entertainment events that could draw a large audience, such as international concerts and sporting events, said Sudawan.
The target for 2024 tourism income, including both domestic and international markets, is set at 3.3 trillion THB, an increase from 3 trillion THB recorded in 2019.
Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said the agency plans to monitor Chinese and Kazakhstan market sentiment starting on September 18 to determine feedback on forward bookings after Thailand announced visa exemptions for visitors from both nations from September 25 until February 29 next year.
Without the visa measures, the Chinese market might reach only 3.7 million this year. With the visa exemption, the number should tally 4.1-4.2 million, said Thapanee.
She said the TAT still plans to push airlines to increase seat capacity to help achieve the government target of 2.38 trillion baht from 27-28 million tourists this year. Thailand has 2.51 million seats allotted for the high season from October to March, which is only 40% of the 2019 level. The TAT is working with airlines to add both chartered and scheduled flights to fill up available slots at airports in the final quarter, she added./.