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Tourism chief appeals for patience, but admits things will “never be the same”



“The primary source markets would be Northeast Asia and the ASEAN countries, with a customer target of people in good health and high-purchasing power.”

Patience is not only a virtue, but a necessity, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn. The TAT chief is appealing to the Thai tourism industry to be “patient, united, and confident in weathering the current crisis”, which he predicts, under a best-case scenario, will almost certainly be over by 2021 (although he didn’t state ‘when’ in 2021).

Yuthasak was speaking to the Thai Hotels Association and said that, although this was the worst of the many crises that Thailand has experienced… “it will be overcome with the same spirit of solidarity and unity like in the past”.

He noted that tourism was Thailand’s “largest foreign exchange earner and job-creating industry” and would lead “into a new future that would see creative and innovative solutions being applied to building a more sustainable and resilient industry”.

The Governor said he did not want to focus on how much pain the industry had suffered, but rather on how to prepare positively for the time when a vaccine would be found and restrictions on international travel lifted (the “pain” has been significant with an estimated 2.5 million tourism and hospitality-related workers losing their jobs).

He speculated that, under a best-case scenario, if there are no more disruptions, TAT projects 20.8 million international visitors next year, about half the record arrivals of 39.8 million arrivals in 2019.

The TAT, working with Thailand’s public health department and CSSA, have come up with numerous pilot ‘plans’ to relaunch tourism, giving the industry’s player hope, only to have the plans scuttled in later announcements. The end result is that nearly six months after Thailand’s borders were closed to international tourists, the borders remain largely sealed except for returning Thais and a handful of international visitors and expats that fall into specific categories.

“The primary source markets would be Northeast Asia and the ASEAN countries, with a customer target of people in good health and high-purchasing power.”

The crisis had created an opportunity to deal with old problems; such as, illegal hotels, tour operators and guides, waste problem and tourist exploitation. “I would like to see these problems disappear along with COVID-19. Let’s rebuild the industry. How can we learn to play a new game? How do we create this new future together?”

Citing one positive outcome, he noted that national parks had now set strict limitations on the number of visitors in line with carrying capacity principles. He expressed hope this would remain in place after the Covid-19 crisis recedes.

“Another positive outcome is the new focus on improving the quality of hygiene and sanitation.”

“The TAT was working overtime to help hotel businesses tap the potential of domestic tourism and maintain an occupancy of at least 30%, not so much to enhance business profitability, but rather to help maintain employment levels.”

Yuthasak said he had formulated a “3D” strategy for the transition to a new era.

Domestic tourism, which would now get more priority than previously.

“It is clear that we have to stimulate and open up more opportunities to help each other, especially to tap the potential of the 12 million Thais who travelled abroad in 2019.”

Digitalisation of business processes would open up many new opportunities to find new customers, improve retention, cut costs, create value and grow revenue. TAT is very active on this front, and had many more projects in store for next year.

Dynamics: the industry as a whole has to create new dynamics and seek a better balance between creating efficiency and managing risk. “We don’t know what kind of crisis will happen next, but we have to be better prepared to deal with it. If there is ever a situation where we have to work from home, we will need a proper instruction manual on how to do it.”

The TAT chief says that “nothing will be the same again”, but that TAT is ready to help the industry adapt to new challenges and to support, encourage, motivate, and lead it towards a more promising future.

“We are ready to be the wind beneath your wings. I believe we have to come back stronger. Never give up. You are not alone. TAT will help you all overcome the Covid- 19 crisis together.”

Tourism chief appeals for patience, but admits things will "never be the same" | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn



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  1. Gosport

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 9:37 am

    This is a PPT show. No vaccine no vacation.

  2. dimitri

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 9:40 am

    It seems as if TAT is trying to show how important they are for tourism in Thailand.
    They come with useless plans every week.
    Maybe this difficult time is also an “opportunity to deal with old problems” like TAT ? Time to get rid of them and replace them with something more useful.

  3. Condor

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 10:16 am

    unfortunately to say that in 2021 the tourism crisis in thailand can end is to confirm that TAT is run by ignorant

  4. John Peters

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 10:18 am

    I left Thailand after 8 years of living there. Because of the growing xenophobia. I have money and I will spend it where they do not call me a dirty farang from the high stands. I agree things won’t be the same. Goodbye Thailand.

  5. Richard King

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 10:46 am

    All the ideas thrown up just wont even make a dent plus the market is getting smaller and smaller so numbers willing to come is just as small, Really the rich proposition have more choices to travel to and the money only helps the big corporations not so much to the gerneral operators which misses out on the so called cheap or short stay travellers even if it opens only the determined or longer stay visitors would be willing to go through the entry requirements and 1 month of Quarantine if your home country makes you do the same when you come back then comes the added costs before you even step foot out of the hotel.
    International travel will only be a niche market until restrictions return to normal like proof of vaccine inoculation with no quarantine.

  6. Rinky Stingpiece

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 10:52 am

    “The wind beneath your wings”, who’d have thought Bette Midler would be inspiring Thai tourism policy.

    At least they’re acknowledging the need for tech training, but the relentless focus on east asian tourism seems rather misguided, and optimistic, given that most ASEAN countries are less well-off than Thailand, and NE Asians (excluding mainland Chinese and Mongolians) are a bit more OCD about hygiene, quality, and value for money.
    It’s easy to project any number of tourists you want, but reality is quite another thing.

    How do you address the concerns of NE Asian tourists over safety?
    How do you fill those bars up when NE Asian tourists hardly drink? The bars and girls might not be popular with the authorities but the income and trickledown to ordinary Thais is significant.

  7. Patrick Robert Marcel nouvel

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 11:03 am

    patience already gone after 5 months lockdown, we are thousands resorts, boutiques, bars, restaurants, massage parlors i.e..whom will have to close forever by January at the latest if the country stay a prison for the tourists. Already many have closed for good.
    More patience will lead to thousands of suicides since all potentials will have vanished , whatever 2021 if opened by end 2020, will see at best 50% of previous records, already not enough for many.
    we will not wish on 31st dec eve an happy new year but a better new year enough

  8. Glenn

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 11:09 am

    Stating things will “never be the same” is based on the premise that a dangerous deadly virus will not go away, if it ever was.

    Reviewing statistics and questioning the govt propaganda shows the actual danger of CV is rather small and primarily limited old/very old sick people. People with co-morbitites, and co-morbiditied aren’t the common cold or sniffles, they are afflictions you are very likely to die from.

    Otherwise the effects of CV are nil to minimal, and perhaps a typical influenza. And again, that is proven by the statistics.

    So “never will be the same” is a line of propaganda to instill fear – but it could be nullified by simply admitting it. Unfortunately it would seem the majority of people will not think for themselves and rely on ‘the authorities’ to tell then what to do and believe.

  9. Jesse

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Good plan. But as a manager of a company within the IT industry I am asking myself: Why shall I start my IT business within Thailand or set up a subsidiary there? Too much hurdles and to less benefits compared to other countries. Makes no sense for me.

    • lootarzoon

      Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 8:42 pm

      You got the point, why!! Only to spend hours to suffer the administration set problems to Farangs

  10. Toby Andrews

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 11:47 am

    What’s all this WE talk. WE will overcome it together.
    He will still have his good wages and collar and tie because he lives in air con.
    The Thai that sweats waiting for tourists on his motor cycle taxi, in his flip flops, wondering if he has enough fuel to go home. He will have to overcome without TAT executives’ help.
    TAT, with the government have ruined a thriving tourist industry with oppressive, unneeded restrictions.
    If the Thais do not rise up and throw the dictators out, they had better go back to fishing and farming. Things will be the same again. The same as life was in Thailand in the 1950s.

    • Mark

      Monday, September 14, 2020 at 7:39 am

      Absolutely ‘ this overpaid TAT ignorarumus is certainly not going to suffer! Meaningless waffle from him

  11. albertone

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    Thailand is full of genius by the words…

  12. J.C.

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 11:53 pm

    > Why not just forget about the silly tourist ideas until a vaccine has been introduced into circulation

    Because that could easily take years or may never happen at all. Use your brain, imbecile.

  13. Khaja Sarfaraj Mansur

    Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 2:44 am

    Please stop making plans for tourists, no plan going to work anyway until you accept the fact that you have to take and deal with this disease. Covid-19 is not the problem, The problem is mentality, hysteria, xenophobia. Make plans to Work with the whole nation to learn how to live with Coronavirus.

    2551 suicide deaths in six months!!!! all is happening For a disease that killed 59 so far?????

    I mean Something is horribly wrong going on there…… please wake up now before its too late

  14. Suchart

    Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 8:01 am

    A vaccine won’t be widely available until spring and it will take a long time to vaccinate billions of people. So the pandemic will last well into next year and possibly until the end of 2021.

  15. Jules

    Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 9:53 am

    The problem is visa restrictions. You want tourists spending money here. Make them feel welcome, that goes for the expats living there too. Jumping throughout hoops, applying at unfriendly and unhelpful immigration offices doesn’t make anyone feel wanted

  16. Philippe

    Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    As mentioned earlier this month, Thailand has to choose between the plague and the cholera, not easy … although.
    Europe, at least my country, although controlled, allows (unofficially) the corona to run free .. but hospital admissions are kept in mind, if too much, people will tighten (again).
    In time everyone will have had corona and the immunity is guaranteed for x number of months or … as with the flu.
    Obviously there will be casualties, the elderly and sick people… bluntly put “a natural elimination” (I’m 68 years old so maybe part of them, so be it).
    To get back to Thailand: I don’t think they should wait too long for their borders to open again … aiming at rich Chinese is a losing battle, they are gamblers and they go where they can gamble such as Cambodia, Kowloon, Barbados, Monaco …. (financially is another issue).
    The retirees who went several months and want to hibernate back are not the “real money issuers” …
    What remains are the “normal tourists” man / woman, man / woman and children, friends … who do spend money, but part of this has also been affected by the economic situation in their country due to the corona …
    So the cake is getting smaller and smaller and those who can and will do will not wait until the last day to plan a holiday, there are also other beautiful countries.
    If Thailand waits too long they will, in my opinion, miss the train, the consequences of which will be dramatic for at least 10 million ordinary people, both Thai and Isaan …
    Losing a client (tourist) is not difficult, winning or regaining a customer is difficult.
    But again, I don’t get involved in Thai politics, they are all wise enough to make the right decision, they should.
    Hope to be able to go to Thailand (neither Pukhet nor Pattaya) next year.

  17. Dave

    Monday, September 14, 2020 at 2:17 am

    More and more I feel like Thailand leadership is using Covid as an opportunity to control tourism. Allow only the tourists you want to allow. All others will be banned. Similar to America banning people from certain countries. You want to visit Thailand? Oh wait you are not on our “approval list”. Sorry.

  18. Mike

    Monday, September 14, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    I’m surprised how little the TAT knows about the market. Who do they think rents rooms in 1 – 4 star hotels, guesthouses and boutiques? Who eats at roadside stalls and independent coffee shops, local bars and garage style restaurants? High-end spenders? At this rate they will only support the big hotel chains and tour companies and rotten airlines like Thai Airways

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