Samuel Dorsi - Sep 18, 2023
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The Thai government has introduced measures to "boost tourism" and is forecasting a record 40 million visitors and 3.1 trillion baht in tourism-related revenue next year. This expected revenue would be 29% higher than the 2.4 trillion baht expected this year, according to government spokesman Chai Wacharonke, who announced the figures after the first official meeting of the new government.

The figure of 40 million visitors is equal to the record set in 2019 before the pandemic. Experts in the Thai tourism industry speculate that it may take a few years or more before this record is broken again.

Tourism directly and indirectly accounts for about 20% of the gross domestic product. Exports account for about 60% of GDP but have stagnated due to the weak global demand. Most forecasts suggest 1-2% lower shipments abroad than last year.

Thailand anticipates hosting around 28 million foreign visitors this year. This would generate tourism revenue of 2.4 trillion baht, with 1.4 trillion baht from international tourists and 1 trillion baht from local travelers.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the country was closed to foreign travelers for a few months last year, which resulted in total tourism revenue of THB 600 billion.

The Thai government has outlined ten measures to boost tourism to achieve its ambitious goals for the next year.

Visa-free systems are one of them. Starting September 25, the Thai government has decided to extend the visa waiver program to visitors from China and Kazakhstan until February 29. Currently, the visa waiver scheme is accessible to tourists from 39 countries, while those from nine other countries can easily obtain a visa upon arrival.

Other measures include special security arrangements for tourists, commercial videos, and arrangements for Chinese actors, singers, and senior officials to promote Thailand. The Thai prime minister will also visit targeted countries to persuade citizens to visit Thailand.

In addition, the Thai government has planned to expand direct flights to secondary provinces with high potential.

They also aim to develop unique and high-quality products and services in the tourism sector quickly, hold tourism events throughout the year, and elevate the Loy Krathong and Songkran festivals to world-class standards.

Travel agencies will offer special visitor promotions, with Thailand promoted as Asia's entertainment hub. An online crisis management team will also be established to manage potential incidents that may impact Thailand’s tourism.

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