Govt urges Thais to hit 100m trip mark
The government is encouraging more Thais to travel to stimulate local tourism as it hopes to see 100 million domestic trips by them by the end of the year.
Rachada Dhnadirek, deputy government spokeswoman, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has attached great importance to promoting domestic tourism as this will generate income for businesses and spur the growth of jobs in the tourism industry, which has been severely battered by almost two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Even though the country has reopened to welcome back foreign tourists, it will take some time before international arrivals rebound and come back past the million mark, she said. Therefore, encouraging Thais to travel in the country is a necessary step to stimulate economic growth, she said.
Ms Rachada said the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has estimated that Thais will make 100 million domestic trips by the end of the year.
As of last month, a total of 92 million domestic trips by Thais had been recorded, generating about 650 billion baht in tourism income, she said.
As for the third phase of the "We Travel Together" tourism stimulus scheme, which will end on Jan 31, some 120,273 rooms are left unused under the initiative so the public is encouraged to book the rooms before the privilege expires, Ms Rachada said.
The scheme was launched in July last year to revitalise the local tourism industry hit hard by the first wave of Covid-19 infections.
To make the initiative work, the government subsidised hotel rooms at 40% of the accommodation rate and capped stays of up to five nights at 3,000 baht per night during its first stage. Now the promotion is extended to 15 nights in the third phase.
Ms Rachada also said several state agencies and private companies have launched online travel and tourism platforms with formats and content designed to attract young people.
For example, the Tourism Authority of Thailand presented a promotional music video entitled "Let's travel. We want to meet you", she said.
The clip features tourists attractions, the livelihoods of local people and environmentally-friendly tourism, she said.
Also, the Culture Ministry has launched an app compiling information on important heritage and natural tourism sites and popular local eateries, shops and homestays, she said.
She said Gen Prayut has praised these tourism promotional formats and wants Thais to travel more to boost economic growth.