Last week, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced its intention to adopt a model away from mass tourism once the pandemic is over. So far Thailand has recorded over 4,000 cases and 60 deaths.
“Enough of mass tourism. Once this industry recovers, Thailand should not be perceived as an unsafe place, but as an ‘attractive’ destination, which means that we will provide safety, hygiene, environmental sustainability, meaningful experiences,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, head of the TAT.
Yuthasak explained that before the start of the health crisis, the average expenditure of foreign tourists in Thailand in recent years had fallen from 50,000 baht (about 1,300 euros) to 47,000 baht (1,200 euros).
For next year, the TAT has set the goal of creating a tourism offer capable of attracting greater income from international visitors, at least 62,000 baht per trip (1,700 euros). Mass tourism is to be avoided.
Despite the lax travel restrictions decreed by the authorities, arrivals have not surpassed 1,200 visitors in October compared to the 3 million registered last year during that same month. However, Yuthasak remains optimistic and has pointed out that the industry has already managed to recover from past crises.
To minimize losses as much as possible, the industry now depends more than ever on domestic tourism. Yuthasak has acknowledged that there are some destinations where “windfall profits" can’t be expected, such as Phuket and other provinces that are very dependent on international visitors.