Bangkok trending in travel destination online searches

Bangkok trending in travel destination online searches

Govt expects 2023 tourism revenue at 80% of pre-pandemic level

Travellers wait for their bags at a Suvarnabhumi airport carousel on Dec 28. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Travellers wait for their bags at a Suvarnabhumi airport carousel on Dec 28. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Tourism revenue is expected to reach 80% of the pre-Covid level this year, with foreign visitors' numbers back up to half the previous level, according to a government spokesman.

Acting spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said on Monday the government had set a target to lift revenue from tourism in 2023 to 2.38 trillion baht, generated by the anticipated arrival of at least 20 million foreign travellers.

This was about 80% of pre-Covid tourism-related revenue, with expected visitor numbers back to about 50% of the previous level.

He cited in particular a report by Hopper, a popular online travel agency, predicting an international travel boom to Asia, with Bangkok rated in the top three trending destinations, along with Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh City.

The report was based on searches by Americans for flight information in 2023 during the first week of December.

Hopper expected more American people to travel abroad in 2023, especially to cities in Asia. Searches by Americans for international flights to cities in Asia accounted for 27% of the total, up from only 19% in the past year.

Bangkok was the third most popular destination, after Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh City, Mr Anucha said.

Thai agencies had already stepped up cooperation with other countries in encouraging exchanges of tourists.

With South Korea, the Tourism Authority of Thailand  and Korea Tourism Organisation had declaried 2023-2024 years of tourism between the two countries. The cooperation iwa expected to see exchanges of at least 3 million tourists.

It was alsohoped the two-year cooperation would tighten relations between Thailand and South Korea, Mr Anucha said.

"The prime minister is very pleased several Thai cities have become popular destinations of foreign tourists. He thanks all concerned agencies for complying with the government's policies to promote tourism, which is a main factor for the revival of the country's economy," the spokesman said.

"He (Gen Prayut) calls for the Thai people to be good hosts and impress tourists with their hospitality," Mr Anucha said.

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