Tourism firms in final push

Tourism firms in final push

Last-ditch effort for domestic segment

Local tourists take photos with lanterns at Muang Boran. Thai travellers made 219 million domestic trips during the first 11 months of this year. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Local tourists take photos with lanterns at Muang Boran. Thai travellers made 219 million domestic trips during the first 11 months of this year. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The festive season and a hard sales push in December are seen as the final efforts for local tourism operators to increase average occupancy to 50% this year, which is still notably short of the 69.5% average posted in 2019.

Thapanee Kiatphaibool, deputy governor for domestic marketing at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said the number of local trips, including one-day trips, tallied 219 million between January and November, generating 800 billion baht. Of that number, overnight stays accounted for 160 million, which helped contribute to an average occupancy rate of 48%.

Ms Thapanee said during a meeting with local tourism operators led by the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) a big promotional fair was planned and several holidays this month should help stimulate local demand to accelerate average occupancy to 50% -- a level that could help hoteliers avoid losses.

The approval of the new phase of the local stimulus campaign called "We Travel Together" was delayed this week as the cabinet postponed this agenda to Dec 20.

While waiting for that scheme, she said the agency and tourism operators agreed to create their own hard-sell promotional event called Amazing Thailand Travel Fair 2022 between Dec 15-18 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, combining a consumer fair and business matching events to promote meetings and incentive travel.

Ms Thapanee said hotels and tour operators are preparing to offer up to 70% discounts to domestic travellers during the four-day show, estimated to draw at least 40,000 visitors and generate around 500 million baht.

"December should be the best month for local tourism this year, based on increasing domestic flights, particularly to destinations in the North like Chiang Mai. Each region has prepared a number of sports, cultural and entertainment events to lure travellers during the upcoming holiday," she said.

In the first 11 months this year, tourism in the South posted the highest revenue at 380 billion baht from 34.2 million local trips, followed by the central region at 269 billion baht from 75.4 million local trips, with the eastern area tallying 44.4 million local trips, contributing 253 billion baht.

The most popular provinces comprised Bangkok, Chon Buri, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima and Ayutthaya.

Ms Thapanee said if the fair is a success, the two groups could make it an annual event by rescheduling the organising period to coincide with Thailand Travel Mart Plus, which targets inbound tourism.

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