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SATURDAY, October 01, 2022
TAT eyes 2.5 million European arrivals with THB200 bn in revenue

TAT eyes 2.5 million European arrivals with THB200 bn in revenue

WEDNESDAY, June 01, 2022

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has gone in for two roadshows abroad, hoping to attract 2.5 million European visitors who could generate THB200 billion in much-needed income for the country this year.

The first roadshow in two years following the Covid-19 pandemic was held late last month and the second is planned for August, said Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT deputy governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and America.

Chattan termed the roadshow in Paris on May 23, 24 and 25 a success.

TAT led a delegation of representatives from 13 Thai tour businesses to conduct negotiations with 171 tourism firms from France, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Chattan said the roadshow prompted 2,000 tourists from the three countries to book 4,000 room nights in Thailand valued at THB144 million.

TAT promoted the popular tourist destinations of Koh Kood, Koh Chang, Hua Hin and Pattaya.

Chattan said the roadshow came in time, drawing European interest well before winter season when tourists want to visit warmer countries. So winter in the West is normally high season for Thailand.

TAT aims to draw some 478,000 tourists from France, the Netherlands and Belgium to Thailand this year and expects the kingdom to earn THB34.8 billion in revenue, Chattan said, adding that this would be 50 per cent of the number and income from tourists from the three countries in 2019.

By country, TAT hopes to lure 300,000 tourists from France with THB21 billion in income, compared to 710,000 visitors and revenue of THB42 billion in 2019; 120,000 Dutch tourists with THB9.6 billion in income, compared to 230,000 and THB16 billion revenue in 2019; and 58,000 Belgian tourists with THB4.2 billion in income, compared to 114,000 and THB7.3 billion revenue in 2019, he explained.

“The first roadshow was crucial. TAT had to sell our destinations and services for the winter season in Europe that starts from October,” the deputy governor said. “It’s high season for Thailand because Europeans leave their countries in high numbers at that time.”

He said European tourists have become more interested in visiting Thailand after seeing the Thai government relax its Covid travel restrictions.

“Had we not carried out the roadshow in Paris, we would have missed a huge opportunity to win over European tourists because our rivals are also pushing their destinations with the Covid situation improving,” Chattan pointed out.

He said Thailand’s rivals are countries with Mediterranean seasides, which include Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Egypt, besides a handful of Asian countries including Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia’s Bali.

Chattan said tour operators in the three European countries asked about travel rules and were pleased to know that the Thai government does not require foreign tourists to be quarantined anymore.

He added that a current obstacle was the lack of enough direct flights because airlines have resumed only 40 per cent of services compared to pre-Covid levels and some tourists had to take lengthy transit flights via the Middle East.

Another obstacle was soaring airfare prices – by 15 to 20 per cent – because of the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine war.

Chattan said TAT would hold its second roadshow in Sweden and Denmark in August.

TAT hopes to attract 250,000 tourists from Europe and THB200 billion in income as a result of this roadshow, compared to 8.2 million European visitors and THB500 billion in revenue in 2019, Chattan concluded.