Thailand’s tourism revenue surges by 44% as new year ushers in boom

Picture courtesy of Thairath

The start of the new year saw a significant boom in Thailand’s tourism sector, with a 44% spike in tourism-related revenue. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) attributes this surge to the visa-free scheme and extended entertainment hours in select provinces.

Thapanee Kiatphaiboon, the Governor of TAT, revealed that the country amassed a staggering 54.4 billion baht (US$1,588,321,152) from December 22 to January 1. This figure marks a 44% increase compared to the revenue generated during the same period last year.

During this time, Thailand reportedly welcomed 1.1 million visitors whose expenditure stood at around 41.7 billion baht (US$1,217,518,236), a solid 60% increase year on year. The visa-free scheme for visitors from China, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Taiwan, coupled with extended operating hours for entertainment venues in tourist hotspots like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Phuket, and Surat Thani (Koh Samui), significantly contributed to this increase, Thapanee noted, reported The Phuket News.

Furthermore, the TAT Governor reported an uptick in domestic travel as well. From December 29 to January 1, Thais embarked on approximately 3.76 million domestic trips, infusing the economy with 12.7 billion baht (US$370,802,916), which represents an 11% rise from the same period the previous year.

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The TAT collaborated with partners to orchestrate new year celebrations in various provinces, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phuket, Roi Et, Songkhla, and Suphan Buri. These provinces collectively entertained 1.11 million domestic visitors, marking an 11% increase. Revenue from these events totalled 4.7 billion baht (US$ 137,226,276), a 14% increase from the year before.

Occupancy rates in hotels also soared to an average of 82%. Bangkok emerged as the most popular destination, followed closely by Nakhon Ratchasima and Chiang Mai, according to Thapanee.

This new year period has set a promising precedent for Thailand’s tourism industry, which continues to be a vital contributor to the nation’s economy. With innovative strategies like the visa-free scheme and extended entertainment hours, the TAT is optimistic about maintaining this upward trajectory throughout 2024.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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