TAT trumpets increase in airline flight capacity
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TAT trumpets increase in airline flight capacity

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) remains optimistic about the industry in the final quarter this year and continuing through to next year as flight capacity is increasing.

"We are pleased to announce Covid-19 for TAT has also ended," said TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

He said the foreign market is growing, with the downgrade of Covid-19 to an endemic disease on Oct 1 supporting the recovery.

Mr Yuthasak said TAT is working to bring tourists back, aiming to reach the government's goal to secure 1.5 trillion baht in revenue from 10 million foreign tourists and domestic tourists.

Since July, TAT has been working with airlines to increase flight capacity to half the level in 2019 as airfares surge amid weak supply.

According to data from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, average airline seat capacity from October to March next year increased by 74.2% to 573,538 seats per week from the summer schedule.

Overall seats from Asia-Pacific accounted for the majority during this period among five regions, at 468,948 seats per week, increasing 82.6% from the summer schedule.

"We hope the incremental uptick in seats will eventually help reduce airfare," said Mr Yuthasak.

After increasing seat capacity, he said TAT will now work with airlines to ensure at least 80% of seats will be occupied.

As flights swell for the high season, TAT is targeting markets most affected by high gas prices, such as Europe, said Mr Yuthasak.

The agency plans to persuade them to escape winter and the high cost of living, he said.

TAT's "Always Warm" campaign promotes warm hospitality, warm heart and a warm welcome after Covid-19, said Mr Yuthasak.

To increase tourist spending, TAT wants to employ a strategy to increase the average length of stay, extending tourist visas from 30 days to 45, and visas-on-arrival from 15 days to 30.

The average length of stay for long-haul markets is currently 14 days, while from short-haul markets it is seven days, he said.

TAT wants to increase average spending per person, particularly from Europe, from 70,000 baht to 75,000-80,000 baht per trip.

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