TAT declares Covid crisis ‘over’, eyes 10 million arrivals this year
The Covid crisis for Thai tourism is now over, with 1.4 million foreign arrivals this year and overseas tour agents selling Thailand’s destinations again, says Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
The TAT is targeting a total of at least 7 million foreign arrivals this year but that figure could be boosted to 10 million with more budget for tourism promotion, he added.
As such, the TAT would submit a request to the government’s Economic Situation Administration Centre for a budget of around 100 million baht.
The focus of the budget would be joint marketing with airlines to increase flights to Thailand from Asia, Europe and Australia, he said.
Total revenue from Thai and foreign tourists is projected at 1.5 trillion baht this year. The TAT expects that figure to rise to 2.4 trillion baht next year – 80 per cent of pre-Covid tourism revenue – with some 20 million foreign visitors.
Tourism revenue is expected to reach the pre-Covid level of 3 trillion baht in 2024, with 25-30 million foreign visitors.
“The signs are clear that Thailand’s tourism situation has recovered and it's official that the Covid-19 crisis is over for the tourism sector,” Yuthasak said.
He pointed to a return of foreign tourists — more than 1.4 million entered the Kingdom between January 1 and June 6, up from 440,000 last year.
Also, 276 tour companies from 45 countries took part in the Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2022 event held in Phuket from Wednesday to Friday.
“This is the first time in two years that overseas tour agencies are selling Thailand again,” the TAT governor said.
He pointed out that since the Test & Go entry system was scrapped on May 1, tourist arrivals have climbed to over 30,000 per day. The TAT has duly lifted its May-September target of 300,000 arrivals per month to 500,000.
That figure is expected to jump to 1 million per month during the high season between October and December.
Yuthasak added that although tourist numbers are much lower than pre-Covid levels, average tourist spending per trip has increased from 47,000 baht to 77,000 baht.