TAT Targets Revenue Boost With Intensive Tourism Campaigns

To achieve its annual revenue goal of 2.38 trillion baht, the tourism industry must keep up its performance in the year’s last two months, having accrued 1.67 trillion in the initial 10 months, as reported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

The TAT is gearing up to boost marketing efforts, endorsing over 3,000 events nationwide and globally throughout Thailand’s holiday season to bolster tourism for 2024, which aims for a 3 trillion baht income, according to Thapanee Kiatphaibool, the agency’s chief.

Thapanee noted that the outlook for 2024 seems brighter compared to the current year, which has faced setbacks due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and an incident at a shopping center in Bangkok.

Ms. Thapanee said facilitating travel, especially with the recent visa waiver extension for visitors from Taiwan and India valid from November 10 to May 2024 – following similar measures for Chinese and Kazakhstani visitors – should have a more significant impact in the coming year.

During the first ten months of this year, the tourism income from international visitors reached 963 billion baht for 21.8 million tourists, and domestic tourism contributed 710 billion baht from 194 million trips.

Regarding international visits, the majority, 15.8 million, came from nearby regions, with the largest numbers from Malaysia (3.3 million), China (2.7 million), South Korea (1.3 million), India (1.28 million), and Laos (903,268).

The distant markets brought in 6 million visitors, with the highest numbers from Russia (1.09 million), the United States (697,613), the United Kingdom (617,017), Germany (525,322), and France (424,474).

Thapanee highlighted that from November into the new year, there would be five major events planned to boost spending.

These events includes the Loy Krathong festival, the Vijit Chao Phraya 2023 light show, the Amazing Thailand Passport Privileges shopping promotion, the Amazing Thailand Marathon Bangkok 2023, and the Amazing Thailand Countdown 2024 event.

Ms. Thapanee expressed confidence that while the 3 trillion baht goal for the next year is ambitious, it remains within reach, especially if key markets like Malaysia exceed their performance from 2019.

There’s also been an uptick in available seats in prime markets, she mentioned. For example, the flight frequency to Kazakhstan has risen from 14 to 40 recently, spurred by increased demand following the visa waiver.

The TAT expects Indian tourist numbers to hit 1.67 million this year, bolstered by the visa exemption that could attract an additional 110,000 tourists during the year-end holidays, including the Diwali festival in November, as per Ms. Thapanee.

With the current average occupancy of Indian flights at 65-70%, the TAT anticipates this to surge to full capacity due to rising demand towards the year’s end.

The TAT projects that Indian tourist arrivals will exceed the 1.96 million mark of 2019 next year. The government is actively discussing with India to expand flight rights, as Thai airlines have already reached their capacity limits.

Ms. Thapanee also reported a robust rebound in the Taiwanese market, with seat capacity at 94% of the 2019 figures.

She anticipates the visa exemption for this group to boost their numbers by 20% to 750,000 this year, which would be 96% of the 2019 level.