TAT upbeat on obtaining full budget in 2024
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TAT upbeat on obtaining full budget in 2024

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) hopes its proposed budget for fiscal 2024 will not be cut as it attempts to drive a full recovery, generating 3 trillion baht in tourism income and increasing the GDP contribution to 25% by 2027.

Yuthasak Supasorn, the TAT governor, said a delay in budget allocation is acceptable as long as the agency receives the same amount as proposed, around 5 billion baht.

He said 2024 is essential for the tourism industry as its 2024-27 roadmap set a target to fully recover from the pandemic.

The agency aims to create a new tourism ecosystem through high-value experiences and sustainable tourism, as well as accelerate the industry to account for 25% of GDP by 2027.

Next year the TAT targets 3.1 trillion baht in revenue, the same level as 2019, generating 16% of GDP.

Revenue from foreign tourists is expected to reach 2.29 trillion baht from 40 million visitors, while domestic tourists are forecast to contribute 805 billion baht.

Normally budget allocation starts in October, but the fiscal 2024 budget might be delayed for 3-6 months, depending on the amount of time needed to form a new government.

Mr Yuthasak said during the waiting period, which could include the high season of the fourth quarter this year and the first quarter of 2024, the agency would utilise budget reserved from 2023, as it has already spent on marketing campaigns.

He said if the budget allocation occurs earlier than expected, the agency can roll out more intensive campaigns for summer and the high season next year.

“We hope for the full budget in the next fiscal year, as many countries are recovering and competing for tourists,” said Mr Yuthasak. “The faster the tourism sector can recover, the more the economy will improve as other sectors in the country are weighed down by the global economy.”

He said flight frequencies to Thailand should resume 2019 levels in the fourth quarter of next year.

Chuwit Sirivejkul, regional director of marketing for East Asia at TAT, said Chinese tourists might not reach 5 million as targeted, tallying only 4 million.

Mr Chuwit said challenges remain in terms of slow visa processing and China’s deflation risks, which will affect the mass market with low spending power. He said most Chinese tourists visiting Thailand now are in the high spending segment.

With average spending of 65,000 baht per trip, the Chinese market should contribute more than 260 billion baht in revenue, according to Tanes Petsuwan, deputy governor for Asia and the South Pacific at TAT.

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