TAT targets 7 billion baht tourism revenue surge for Ranong

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) aims to boost Ranong province’s tourism revenue to 7 billion baht (US$196 million) in the current year, a substantial rise from 6.72 billion baht (US$188 million) in the preceding year. The strategy is to increase the share of international tourists to 15% of total visitors, a significant recovery from the previous year’s slump.

Ranong, a second-tier city, attracted 1.45 million tourists last year, which included 51,432 international and 1.4 million Thai visitors, TAT governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool revealed. The target for tourist influx for the present year is set to at least match last year’s figures; however, the primary objective is to enhance the share of foreign visitors to 15% of the total, up from the previous 3.5%, to boost revenue, Thapanee said.

“In 2023, Ranong was a province where the number of tourists exceeded the target by more than 100% or on par with 2019, which was the best year before the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it was observed that the number of international tourists fell to 51,432 in 2023, from 282,322 in 2019, due to the reduction in incoming flights to Ranong from four-to-five flights per day to only 1-1.5 flights per day.”

To rectify this, TAT plans to increase the number of flights and is coordinating with the Transport Ministry. Concurrently, the private sector in Ranong will present this proposal at the mobile cabinet meeting scheduled for today.

TAT has further established tourist routes linking the provinces on the Andaman Sea side and the Gulf of Thailand to Ranong. The newly introduced routes will connect Phuket and Phang Nga to Ranong, and from Ranong to Chumphon and Prachuap Khiri Khan, following the Thailand Land Riviera route.

Thapanee noted that international tourists visiting Ranong are primarily from distant markets such as Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, the US, Italy, and Canada, and also from some Asian markets like China and Malaysia. Tourists are primarily drawn to the natural and community-based tourism highlights.

New markets

TAT is also planning to penetrate new markets in the Middle East, where travellers favour green and serene tourism. This aligns well with Ranong’s weather pattern of eight months of rainfall and four months of sunshine. The focus is particularly on attracting visitors from Saudi Arabia, who typically have high purchasing power, stay for an extended period of 19-20 days, and spend up to 99,000 baht (US$2,778) per person per visit.

With the introduction of direct flights from Saudia Airlines and Riyadh Air to Phuket, an increase in Saudi Arabian tourists extending their stays in Ranong is anticipated, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, not only did tourism receive a boost in Ranong, but across the country, a surge in faith-based travel post-pandemic captivated seekers of peace and spirituality. Temples flourished, with donation boxes overflowing. Read more about Thailand’s temple pilgrimage post-pandemic faith tourism.

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Alex Morgan

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