Thai tourism is expected to be affected by the recession, inflation, the cost-of-living crisis and rising travel costs from the second quarter of next year, warned the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). The industry will also be pressured by the start of the low season in March, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said.
"These issues pose a challenge to Thai tourism marketing as Thailand has to compete with countries that have also reopened to tourism," he said.
The TAT is targeting 20 million foreign arrivals next year, which is expected to generate 2.38 trillion baht in tourism revenue for the country or about 80 percent of the 3 trillion baht revenue in 2019 - before the pandemic outbreak.
Khun Yuthasak also indicated that the TAT will increase its tourism marketing and road shows in countries around the world.
Meanwhile, the number of flights to Thailand will recover to 80 percent of pre-Corona levels. "The airlines will aim for an 80 percent passenger carrying rate," he said, adding that the TAT aims to increase that level to 90 percent. It will also launch campaigns to promote seasonal tourist attractions throughout Thailand.
The TAT governor expects the return of Chinese and Russian tourists to boost the number of arrivals to over 20 million next year. The Thai tourism industry expects the Chinese government to allow its citizens to travel abroad next March.
President Xi Jinping's remark at the recent APEC summit that China and Thailand are related and willing to promote tourism exchanges was well received in China and should encourage Chinese tourists to visit the Kingdom. Meanwhile, Russian airlines had recently resumed direct flights between Russia and Thailand.
Khun Yuthasak expects foreign arrivals to reach 10 million in December as the first post-Covid pandemic peak season begins.
He forecasted tourism revenue of 1.33 trillion baht for the whole year, which is below the target of 1.5 trillion baht. The TAT Governor emphasized that 731.77 billion baht of this year's revenue would come from Thai tourists and 600 billion baht from foreign tourists.
He added that Thailand could still reach the 1.5 trillion baht target if foreign tourists stay longer and spend more money in the remaining months of this year.