The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is looking forward to drawing at least 1 million tourists per month during the high season in the final quarter thanks to a less cumbersome entry process.
The agency reported a spike on Friday in Thailand Pass registrations thanks to the new entry rules enacted on April 1.
"Even though there are challenging factors such as low travel confidence, a poor economy, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a labour shortage in the tourism sector and heated competition from other destinations, our goal of 7-10 million arrivals remains within sight," said TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
As of April 25, Thailand had welcomed 713,183 international arrivals this year.
The highest tally was 215,490 arrivals in April, attributed to the cancellation of the 72-hour pre-travel RT-PCR test from April 1. The number of tourists for the whole month of April is expected to reach 300,000.
Mr Yuthasak said the market should gather pace during the high season, with at least 1 million foreign tourists per month from October.
Following the implementation of the new registration on Friday for the Thailand Pass system that eliminates Covid-19 tests, there were 40,000-50,000 registrants during the first 12 hours, said the agency.
The promising response indicates strong tourism demand from overseas visitors, with new easing of entry rules slated for May 1.
He said the TAT should push Thai tourism by promoting both short-haul and long-haul markets, particularly countries with fewer travel conditions allowing tourists to travel freely.
For the long-haul market, the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, the US, Canada, Latin America and European countries, are among the target markets.
The TAT plans to participate in international trade shows such as the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) North America from Sept 19 to 22 in Mexico. It expects to invite tourism operators to join roadshows such as Amazing New Chapters Roadshow to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on May 15 to 17.
The short-haul market includes India as a target country, as there is potential with 200 groups of wedding ceremonies already confirmed this year, said the TAT. Other promising markets include Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea, said Mr Yuthasak.
Joint promotions with partners are scheduled throughout this year for quality segments, led by health and wellness, golf, leisure, luxury and weddings.
On Friday, the TAT hosted a meeting with tourism operators to discuss marketing plans for the international market. He said operators suggested focusing on emerging markets in South Asia such as Bangladesh and Pakistan.