Tourism to get B100m 'booster shot'

Tourism to get B100m 'booster shot'

TAT allots funds to support recovery

Tourists queue at Suvarnabhumi airport on Thursday. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has set a target of 7-10 million international tourist arrivals this year. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Tourists queue at Suvarnabhumi airport on Thursday. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has set a target of 7-10 million international tourist arrivals this year. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has drawn up a budget of more than 100 million baht to revive the battered travel sector, and will propose it to the Centre for Economic Situation Administration for approval.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the target for this year is 7-10 million international tourists. That target will double to 20 million, or 50% of 2019 levels, by next year, with the majority coming from the high-value segment, he said.

In 2024, arrivals should increase to 25-30 million, while total revenue fully recovers to 3 trillion baht, according to TAT.

"That budget for fiscal 2023, starting in October 2022, is aimed at luring at least 10 million tourists this year," Mr Yuthasak said.

The budget will be allocated to a so-called "Tourism Booster Shot", such as increasing airline seat capacity to 50% of the pre-pandemic level.

TAT overseas offices have been told to start discussions and jointly work with airlines to increase carrying capacity to the country, particularly via large-sized charter aircraft.

Mr Yuthasak said co-marketing campaigns will help raise load factors to 70-80%, which will entice more airline operators to join the campaigns.

The agency is already talking to Thai Airways and conducting marketing surveys to launch chartered services with other airlines to support particular markets.

If TAT reaches a deal with airlines, more international flights will come to Thailand by August at the earliest.

Mr Yuthasak said the TAT Moscow office has the potential to attract 1 million tourists this year, but there are obstacles with money transactions and the lack of flights, which has prompted the agency to try resolve this issue as soon as possible.

The top five source markets from 2019, including Laos, Malaysia and South Korea, are also important targets, while Thailand awaits looser Chinese travel rules.

TAT still has to wait for a sign from the Chinese government on whether it will allow international travel in October or during Chinese New Year in 2023.

Mr Yuthasak said India has kept up a strong momentum. There may not be any low season for Thai tourism as it has robust support from this market.

He said another way to drive forward tourism was to bring local operators to more international roadshows and trade shows to potential destinations, such as minor cities in India, the Middle East and Indonesia.


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