TAT maintains monthly arrivals target

TAT maintains monthly arrivals target

People are seen on the deck of a passenger ferry as it departs Koh Samui for mainland Surat Thani on March 6, 2022. (AFP photo)
People are seen on the deck of a passenger ferry as it departs Koh Samui for mainland Surat Thani on March 6, 2022. (AFP photo)

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is maintaining its target for tourism arrivals at 300,000 visitors per month, even as the low season approaches, before gaining momentum at end of this year.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the agency will host a meeting with tourism operators about the international market on April 29 to prepare for tourism promotions after seeing good signs from rising arrivals.

He said the number would significantly pick up every time the country eased travel rules as seen in April when the country removed the requirement for pre-arrival booking of a RT-PCR test within 72 hours.

After its peak last December at 280,000, the number of tourists during April 1-20 stood at 250,000. The TAT expects the monthly figure to reach 300,000 or 10% of the 2019 level.

Mr Yuthasak said Thailand can see at least 300,000 tourists per month despite the off-peak season, led by potential markets like India and Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia after Ramadan.

The number might grow to 1 million per month by the year-end, if the virus situation and travel regulations improve.

The TAT will also meet domestic tourism operators today to reconsider the strategy to help restrain people from travelling abroad due to easier entry rules on their way back to Thailand.

He said they will discuss the fifth phase of the "We Travel Together" scheme in which hoteliers will be asked to offer an additional 2 million room nights apart from the subsidy for 2 million room nights from the government which can help reduce the public budget.

"The two meetings will help us explore the gap we still need to fill each month and be able to maintain the same goal at 5-15 million international arrivals and 160 million domestic trips," Mr Yuthasak said.

He said the TAT has also set gastronomy as one of the marketing mechanisms by partnering with the Michelin Guide.

The new culinary destination is the Northeast, with Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani and Khon Kaen listed in the 2023 edition, following Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Phangnga and Ayutthaya.

Last year, the agency extended the contract until 2026 after the launch of the Bangkok edition in 2017.

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