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Domestic tourism hoped to generate 882 billion baht in 2022

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FILE PHOTO: The government hopes to earn nearly 1 billion baht from domestic tourism next year.

Perhaps not putting all of its eggs in the foreign tourism basket, the Thai government has now set a target for domestic tourism revenue next year to reach close to 1 trillion baht. While international travel is slowly finally opening back up in Thailand, it is more of a trickle than a flood, and government officials are looking towards domestic travellers to pump up the tourism sector.

In 2020, foreign tourism brought in 332 billion baht, an 83% drop from the 1.91 trillion baht international tourism generated in 2019. Domestic tourism fared at least a little better generating 482 billion baht, a lesser 55% drop from 2019 figures.

The plunging tourism revenue numbers strongly contributed to Thailand’s worst economic drop in more than 20 years in 2020. This month began a broader reopening with softened restrictions and more locations foreigners can enter and spend their first seven days of soft quarantine such as Krabi and Phang Nga. But there’s still a long road to recovery for the massive tourism Thailand experienced in 2019 and prior.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is working to promote and incentivise domestic travel with a goal of generating at least 882 billion baht in 2022. They’re working to increase the number of flights around the country including more flights to the popular tourist destinations like Phuket and Chiang Mai beginning later this month. The TAT will also work with tourism businesses and destinations to promote domestic travel and offer incentives that helped bring in 127 billion baht domestic tourism in the first 8 months of this year.

A deputy government spokesperson said that demand is increasing for travel during the high season as Covid-19 infections have begun to slow in Thailand, with daily infections once above 20,000 now occasionally dropping below 10,000 and vaccination rates finally going up. The government intends to continue to support domestic travel and introduced measures to assist the travel industry as it regrows.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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