Govt expects 200,000 Saudi visitors this year

Govt expects 200,000 Saudi visitors this year

Visitors arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport early February 2022. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Visitors arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport early February 2022. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

About 200,000 people are expected to visit Thailand from Saudi Arabia this year with the resumption of direct flights and mutual tourism promotions, the government spokesman said on Monday.

Spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Saudi Arabian Airlines would start operating direct flights between the two countries next Monday and the Tourism and Sports Ministry planned to take tourism representatives to Saudi Arabia late next month to present their products and services.

That should bring about 200,000 visitors from Saudi Arabia this year, and about 20 billion baht in tourism-related income, the spokesman said.

"Saudi Arabian tourists have high potential and are a target group under the medical hub and wellness tourism policy," he said.

Mr Thanakorn said the ministry was drafting a memorandum of understanding on Thai-Saudi Arabian cooperation on mutual tourism promotion. It was proposed Thai pilgrims should have their visas extended for their visits to Saudi Arabia. The draft had already been sent to Saudi Arabia for consideration.

The government spokesman attributed the positive tourism outlook to the restoration of Thai-Saudi Arabian ties following the visit of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to Saudi Arabia late last month.

He said the Foreign Ministry would take representatives of the Thai private sector to Saudi Arabia this weekend to discuss bilateral trade promotion.

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