Tourism revenue to miss state target by B500bn
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Tourism revenue to miss state target by B500bn

Agency pins blame on other countries' woes

Tourists take photos in front of the Bangkok sign at the Pathumwan intersection skywalk on Tuesday. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Tourists take photos in front of the Bangkok sign at the Pathumwan intersection skywalk on Tuesday. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The most realistic scenario for Thai tourism revenue this year is 3 trillion baht, missing the government goal of 3.5 trillion baht, as many target markets have been hit by an economic downturn, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

As of June 2, 14.9 million foreign arrivals have generated 709 billion baht for the Thai tourism sector, roughly 30% of the international revenue target of 2.38 trillion baht the government anticipated for this year.

Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, deputy governor for international marketing in Asia and the South Pacific at TAT, said the most likely outcome for overall revenue is 3 trillion baht as key markets deal with economic stagnation, such as China, where flights to Thailand are only 75% of pre-pandemic seat capacity.

To earn an additional 500 billion baht, the tourism industry needs extra stimulus, particularly in the Chinese market where the TAT has signed letters of intent with eight major tourism partners, but lacks the extra budget to strengthen those partnerships, he said.

Speaking at Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) 2024 in Phangnga yesterday, Mr Chattan said of the revenue target of 3.5 trillion baht, the Asian and South Pacific market is expected to generate 980 billion baht.

If Thailand earns 3 trillion baht, short-haul markets would likely generate 840 billion baht, he said.

Chuwit Sirivejkul, TAT regional director of marketing for East Asia, said consistent events and activities are necessary to maintain the momentum of every market during the low season.

He said the Chinese market this month is in a fallow period, as students take university entrance exams, resulting in only 15,000-18,000 tourists per day.

However, as the curve should pick up from July, Mr Chuwit said TAT will organise at least two major events over the next two months, starting with the launch of a version of the popular doll Labubu.

He said the limited edition Labubu is the result of cooperation between the Chinese government and Thailand, which will celebrate a 50-year diplomatic relationship next year.

Pop Mart, the Chinese supplier of the famous doll, designed a local edition for Thailand.

TAT plans to use the doll as a mascot to introduce attractions, with a goal of reaching its large fan base of more than 100 million people around the globe.

Online travel agent partners, such as and Tongcheng Travel, will feature travel packages that follow Labubu's destinations and activities, said Mr Chuwit.

In July, the agency plans to partner with the private sector to host roadshows to three emerging cities in China: Changsha, Xi'an and Zhengzhou.

Mr Chattan said this year TTM+ has 79 Chinese agents registered for the event -- the highest number among 425 international buyers from 50 countries.

Business deals during TTM+ are expected to generate 3 billion baht, adding Chiang Mai is the scheduled host province for the 2025 edition.

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