The Tourism Authority of Thailand hailed the success of its We Travel Together scheme after holidaymakers rushed to book hotels during the latest phase of the programme.
Within just six hours of the hotel subsidy programme’s availability, a remarkable 112,876 room nights were reserved out of the 560,000 available, demonstrating a high level of demand.
According to Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn, the total value of transactions during this time amounted to an impressive 443 million baht, with an average booking rate of 300 per minute, Bangkok Post reported. It’s worth noting that 40% of the total value, or 170 million baht, was provided by the government subsidy, while the remaining 60% (273 million baht) was paid by the purchasers themselves.
“The volume of bookings confirmed there is pent-up demand for the next one-two months as well as strong purchasing power.
“The strong demand is partially because of an easing in Covid-19 infections, which encouraged locals to plan leisure trips or visit their hometown during the Songkran holiday in April.
“The 500 hotels added for the fifth phase of the scheme provide travellers with greater choice, while the short duration (ending in April) and the limited number of privileges, at less than a million, accelerated people’s purchases.
“Although key destinations such as Chiang Mai and Bangkok have high levels of air pollution at the moment, bookings for those destinations were strong as tourists haven’t postponed or cancelled their trips.”
The Thai government introduced the first phase of the We Travel Together subsidy programme in July 2020. The previous four phases of the scheme had a budget of 27 billion baht and generated over 49 billion baht for the local economy through 11.5 million room nights.
The recently launched fifth phase, with a budget of 2 billion baht, is expected to generate 9.2 billion baht in direct income and contribute to an estimated economic impact of 58.6 billion baht across all phases.
The positive impact of the subsidy programme on the domestic tourism industry is evident in the recent data released by the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
In January 2023, there was a significant increase in domestic trips, with 15.8 million trips recorded, representing a 65% growth compared to the same period last year. This resulted in a revenue increase of 47.3% for local tourists, reaching 70 million baht.
The top five provinces that welcomed the highest number of visitors were Bangkok, Chon Buri, Kanchanaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Phetchaburi.
Overall, the We Travel Together programme has played a vital role in stimulating the domestic tourism industry and boosting the local economy.
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