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Thailand targets Europe’s big guns to boost tourism as lockdown rules out China

Bob Scott

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With China still under lockdown measures and showing no signs of opening up any time soon Thailand is focusing on the big spenders of Europe and India to boost tourism and its ailing economy.

China was Thailand’s biggest source of tourists in the pre-Covid-19 era but with 40 cities still under lockdown it is unlikely the country will see any Chinese visitors this year.

This is an obvious blow to the Thai economy but all is not lost. The Thailand tourism industry will look to the UK, Germany, and India to turn around the nation’s flagging economic.

“Before the pandemic, China was the driving force for the global outbound tourism industry and the No.1 source market for Thailand and other destinations in Southeast Asia,” says Paul Pruangkarn, chief of staff at Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

“I would assume China will only slowly reopen, most likely starting with domestic interprovincial travel as the first step. Most industry stakeholders agree that Chinese travellers will most likely resume overseas trips in 2023. However, the situation is always evolving.”.

A PATA study revealed Thailand’s tourism industry is recovering and visitor numbers expect to hit 47 million over the next three years, 7 million more than the pre-Covid record.

Relaxation of tourist entry requirements, such as the Test & Go scheme, RT-PCR tests on arrival, and the pandemic being downgraded to endemic status have all contributed to the recent economic recovery, with visitors from the UK topping the tourist charts.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Intelligence Centre revealed Tuesday that the top five tourist markets are the UK (84,600), India (82,000), Germany (71,000), the US (61,000) and Russia (60,000). Last month Russia and Germany were No.1 and No.2 in the tourist hit parade while India wasn’t in the top five.

Source Bangkok Post

 

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Bob is a published author and worked in Europe and Asia as a journalist for over 25 years.

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