Thai tourists postponing overseas travel
The Thai Travel Agents Association says rising costs and a weak economy are affecting the number of Thai travellers taking overseas trips. TTAA boss Suthiphong Pheunphiphop says that currently, only high earners are travelling abroad, while those on lower incomes are being more conservative, due to their income and jobs being affected by the pandemic.
The Bangkok Post reports that an increase in the cost of overseas packages is being driven by rising air fares. The price of outbound packages is now higher than it was prior to Covid-19, including the price of hotels, guides, tickets, and transport at many destinations. Tourists are also mindful of the various testing requirements they need to cover.
Thailand’s current Test & Go entry system is also proving a deterrent to outbound travel, with Suthiphong saying that if it can be abolished by May 1, outbound traveller numbers could reach 1 million this year. This would help Thailand’s tour operators get back on their feet.
“Half of the 800 TTAA members have already closed down. There are around 200 active companies, while the rest are still waiting for more feasible travel rules.”
Meanwhile, Chotechuang Soorangura from NS Travel and Tours says potential customers continue to worry about the government’s changing travel policies, coupled with the risk of Covid-19 prevention measures being re-imposed at any time. He’s hoping for more clarity by September, when his company plans to introduce its overseas tour packages.
Nevertheless, Thanapol Cheewarattanaporn from inbound and outbound tour company, Quality Express, says he’s seeing an increase in the number of Thai tourists opting for long holidays in places with no travel restrictions. These include the UK, Turkey, Dubai, and Switzerland. Thanapol says people are confident they can live with the virus while protecting themselves and this thinking has led to an increase in the sale of outbound packages.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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