Whilst the Ministry of Tourism and Sports approve marketing spending for 2022, their tourism promotion arm, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, have been throwing around more highly optimistic arrival figures for next year.
“TAT set the revenue target from tourism in 2022 at 1.5 trillion baht, or about 50% of tourism revenue in 2019 (before the Covid-19 situation)”, according to the TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
Since November 1, 2021, Thailand has extended its reopening schedule to include a ‘Test and Go’ 1 night quarantine entry for fully vaccinated travellers. There’s also a 7 day ‘Sandbox’ alternative if you are arriving from one of the countries not listed in the list of 63 low-risk destinations. Then for the unvaccinated there’s still the “Happy Quarantine” alternative, which still includes 10 days in an approved AQ hotel. Happy indeed!
The new arrivals have been steady but not overwhelming, and certainly not at the rate the TAT or government were expecting at this stage. But The Thaiger’s Tim Newton, who travels twice a week, filed his latest ‘vibe’ from Suvarnabhumi…
Get ready for “Visit Thailand Year 2022 : Amazing New Chapters” which is aimed at marketing, well, amazing new chapters. The new chapters look suspiciously like the old chapters – beaches, temples, food and… more beaches. But packaged up in swish new extended length ads which will be broadcast in targeted tourist markets around the world.
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn has had the TAT crystal ball out again and imagined a revival in the next 12 months which would reach around 50% of the last full year of tourism before the Covid pandemic.
“TAT set the revenue target from tourism in 2022 at 1.5 trillion baht, or about 50% of tourism revenue in 2019.”
The Minister for Sports and Tourism, Pipat Ratchakitprakan, has also launched the Centre for Emergency Situation Related to Tourism and Sports this week.
He told Nation Thailand that the new agency will be able to assist tourists as the numbers start to grow.
“It will be a central agency that provide solutions to domestic and foreign tourists in Thailand who run into problems or need assistance. It will be headed by the permanent secretary for tourism and sports.”
This new agency appears to do precisely what the Tourist Police have been doing for decades. How it will differ in day-to-day negotiations over ‘misunderstandings’ is yet to be revealed.
If you have 5 spare minutes, here is the new TAT extended ‘come to Thailand’ video…
For the Thailand Pass, the current re-entry model for all travellers – foreigners or Thais – the IT problems still persist with The Thaiger still getting between 50 – 100 daily complaints about all manner of different tech and procedural issues. Last week the Government trotted out their Minister for Digital Economy and Society, Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, to reassure travellers that all the hiccups had been sorted out. They’re not.
But there’s also plenty of other travellers who are successfully applying for the Thailand Pass as the numbers of arrivals slowly increases. But an estimated 50% of these arrivals are not tourists coming to visit the beaches and temples. There’s still a huge contingent of returning Thais, business people and expats coming through the turnstiles, taking advantage of the almost-quarantine-free entry options since November 1. Of the international arrivals, the US, Germany, the UK and Japan took the top places in the list of nations lining up for immigration when they arrive in Thailand.
As of last Thursday, 214,251 people had applied for the Thailand Pass, 167,415 had been approved and 86,719 travellers (of the 167,000,415) had their applications approved automatically.
But with the Thai government still determined to maintain some control over the flow of alcohol in the Kingdom, and neighbours Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam starting to reopen, the battle for the hearts and minds of potential travellers will continue.