Thailand tourism: India No.1 country sending tourists

PHOTO: Indian tourists have been the number 1 demographic in Thailand this year. (via Flickr/Caro)

The government has been extremely focused on tourism numbers and recovery in the post-pandemic world and the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration reported that 2.2 million visitors have entered Thailand so far this year, over 10% of them from India. More travellers have come from India in the first half of this year than any other country in the world.

Between January 1 and July 6, a total of 249,466 Indian travellers entered Thailand. That equates to 11.27% of the 2,214,132 people who have come to Thailand so far this year. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has proposed increasing Indian travel by lengthening visas on arrival from 15 days to 45 days and tourist visas from 30 days to 45 days as well.

The majority of tourists in Phuket have been coming from India, and now Chiang Mai has been courting these Indian tourists as the Chinese tourists they traditionally welcome are still limited in travel. The lack of Chinese tourism is hitting all of Thailand as China accounted for one-third of the 40 million visitors per year before Covid-19.

A spokesperson from a recent tourism forum in Chiang Mai said the recent South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange 2022 in New Delhi has helped increase visitors from India to Chiang Mai.

“The province has seen more reservations and visitors coming from India, so entrepreneurs and tourism agencies need to prepare themselves to provide accommodations to meet the tourists’ demands.”

Tourism, in general, is picking up, with an estimated 125 billion baht in revenue this year. On July 6, for example, nearly 31,000 total international travellers landed in Thailand. Malaysians crossing the border made up about 5,300 of them while India accounted for another 3,000, Singapore about 1,800, Vietnam 1,700, and Australia 1,400. Many of the Malaysians are crossing the southern border for either day trading or weekend visits and primarily visit Hat Yai and Songkhla.

Luring tourists from India has become a primary focus are the Thai government in hopes of making up ground for the approximately 13 million Chinese tourists that visited Thailand yearly pre-pandemic (2019) and are still under restrictions that severely limit their travel post-pandemic. The government believes that tourism in Thailand, as while as local economies, can and will be lifted on the backs of these Indian tourists.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

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.