Thailand aims for 40 million tourists and 3.5 trillion baht revenue

Picture courtesy of Somchai Poomlard

The goal of 40 million international tourists and an ambitious revenue target of 3.5 trillion baht (US$ 98,348,390,000), as set by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, remains a tall order for this year, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry. Still, the ministry plans to attract longer stays and increase spending through a range of measures, including soft power products, safety measures, and various events.

Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, the Tourism and Sports Minister, stated that achieving the revenue target would necessitate 2.3 trillion baht from 40 million international tourists and 1.2 trillion baht from between 200 and 220 million domestic trips. The ministry’s focus will be on increasing the number of tourists as well as their expenditure and length of stay. This is planned to be achieved through events and festivals throughout the year, new tourism routes in second-tier provinces, and soft power products.

Despite the current climate in the Chinese market, the ministry aims to attract at least 8 million tourists from China this year, thereby generating over 320 billion baht in revenue. As of January 14, over 186,424 Chinese tourists had arrived in Thailand, making it the top inbound market.

The minister also highlighted the ministry’s intentions to collaborate with relevant authorities to reassure international tourists of their safety in Thailand. Furthermore, tourism will be utilised as a tool to strengthen relationships between Southeast Asian countries. A meeting between regional tourism ministries is scheduled in Laos later this month, with discussions centred on enhancing transport connections by air, land, and waterways.

The government plans to introduce a permanent visa-free scheme between China and Thailand to stimulate the market, reported Bangkok Post.

Thapanee Kiatphaibool, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), revealed that PM Srettha instructed the TAT to organise a roadshow in South Korea to attract high-quality tourists and investors. According to Thapanee, South Korea is a promising market, with the number of arrivals last year surpassing that of the Indian market, which has a much larger population.

To attract 40 million tourists and bolster the South Korean market, Thapanee stressed the need to showcase new destinations, including those in second-tier cities, as well as soft power products, and to collaborate with airlines and stakeholders.

The ministry has also identified the need for increased chartered flights to connect new cities in potential markets where there are currently no scheduled flights, including China and Russia. Joint promotions for Thai and foreign airlines are proposed across all key markets.

The ministry is considering requesting an additional budget of 30 million baht, adding to the 50 million baht proposed earlier, to assist foreign tourists in the event of injury or death.

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