Tourism confidence declines in Q2
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Tourism confidence declines in Q2

The Tourism Confidence Index remained below the 2019 rate in the second quarter, slipping from the first quarter because of the low season and weaker tourism income.

Chamnan Srisawat, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), said the index tally of 72 in the second quarter was two points lower than the previous quarter.

The reading lagged the 100 recorded for the same period in 2019, reflecting weak confidence, according to the survey of 740 operators between April 20 and May 30. The baseline is 100.

Mr Chamnan said high electricity costs was the most critical concern, with a score of 3.94 out of 5, but only 14% of respondents chose to push this cost onto customers.

The labour shortage had a lower score of 3.11 as the employment rate escalated to 90% of the 2019 level.

In terms of tourism revenue, 68% of tourism operators are earning less than in 2019, as most of them earned only 60% of pre-pandemic revenue.

By region, tourism operators in the Northeast posted the highest recovery for revenue with an index of 64, as they were less dependent on foreign tourists, while the East reported the lowest revenue growth, at only 54% of the normal rate.

He said the result this quarter helped confirm that foreign arrivals this year might reach 29.4 million, a slight drop from the 30 million targeted by TCT.

External concerns continue to revolve around the global economy, including a recession risk in Europe, which could affect Germany, as well as high living costs in the UK.

Mr Chamnan said the short-haul market would be affected by several factors, such as a weak yen and the slow approval process of e-visas for Chinese markets planning trips to Thailand.

Even though the study registered strong domestic travel in the first four months of this year, exceeding the 2019 level, business revenue was still below pre-pandemic income.

"Thai tourists remained hesitant to spend money because of the sluggish economy and high household debt," he said.

Mr Chamnan said the industry hopes a new government will be in place soon to start budget disbursement in time for high season in the final quarter.

Given the political uncertainty, protests would definitely affect the tourism industry, he said.

Meanwhile, TCT applauded the announcement from the Interior Ministry that it would loosen rules to allow more accommodation to register as a hotel business.

Mr Chamnan said more than 50,000 small accommodations would be licensed, which should help to welcome more tourists.

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