Thailand boosts tourism budget to 5 billion baht

Phu Sab Lek, Lopburi, Image via Amazing Thailand, Facebook

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced its plans for the fiscal year 2024, with a focus on growing off-peak customers, increasing spending per trip by 7%, and distributing income to a wider range of destinations. The budget for these initiatives is set at 5 billion baht, a significant increase from the 3.25 billion baht allocated for fiscal 2023.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn explained that the key strategies for the upcoming fiscal year, beginning in October 2023, will be promoting fairness in revenue distribution through a “sharing economy” and making Thailand a “Tourism for All” destination. The aim is to achieve better distribution of tourists to secondary provinces and improve the dispersal of visitors throughout the year, rather than just during the high season. Yuthasak said…

“We will create more opportunities and improve access to ensure that all people can travel to Thailand.”

He also mentioned the possibility of implementing travel vouchers to boost tourism in secondary cities, as suggested by Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat, the head of the proposed coalition government.

Yuthasak, whose second term as governor will end on August 31, highlighted that the lessons learned from the pandemic have helped TAT formulate a new plan for the next year and implement crisis management for possible future contingencies. He outlined a four-step development plan for building “tourism security” and resilience, which involves both the public and private sectors.

The first measure focuses on strengthening the supply chain and upgrading products and services to match demand. Local communities should also be developed to accommodate a greater number of tourists through increased distribution channels. Yuthasak emphasised the importance of building support and infrastructure for tourist services to enhance safety and ease of travel within Thailand.

The country must also adopt safety standards that apply to all segments, particularly for people with disabilities, Yuthasak added.

Another crucial aspect of the plan is enhancing digital transformation, which can help maximise tourism revenue if the industry improves its digital literacy and takes advantage of technology.

Yuthasak acknowledged that factors such as natural disasters, pandemics, and global recessions are beyond the industry’s control. Therefore, regulators should prepare for external risks by implementing management plans. Yuthasak said…

“Thai tourism can survive any crisis, avoid severe impacts and recover faster than during the pandemic if we build resilient tourism through these suggestions.”

The TAT is scheduled to discuss the implementation of the 2024 plan during its annual meeting in Pattaya between July 11-13, reported Bangkok Post.

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Alex Morgan

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