Thailand targets diverse travel groups to boost tourism revenue

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

Thailand‘s aim of generating 3.5 trillion baht (US$97 billion) in tourism revenue this year requires a broader appeal beyond just leisure travellers to be competitive with other destinations, as per Dusit International.

Suphajee Suthumpun, the CEO of Dusit Group, pointed out that while the new visa-free scheme is likely to ease travel, it alone would not suffice to boost revenue. For high-quality tourism, Thailand needs to build infrastructure and demand for different travel categories, including meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE), as well as wellness and medical tourism, Suphajee said.

“Given the slow export rate and weakened domestic spending, tourism is a significant economic propellant this year.”

Suphajee suggested that hotels need to adapt to the current situation by targeting specific markets and avoiding price wars in the hospitality sector, a phenomenon observed before the pandemic.

She also endorsed the proposed legislation of casinos, stating it could enhance the economy by attracting tourists to spend in Thailand. However, she cautioned that this sector requires clear zoning and strict safety measures.

She further urged the government to legalise hotels by including them in the registered system and offering improved tax incentives to those tourism operators who include green or sustainable practices in their services.

Dusit’s portfolio of hotels is projected to reach a 75% average occupancy rate in the first quarter and sustain high room rates, owing to the peak season and steady demand from high-spending clients. In Thailand, the top-performing properties have been identified in Pattaya, Phuket, and Hua Hin.

Tourism revenue

The group’s hotels in Kyoto have seen a surge of domestic tourists and an increasing number of Thai tourists, attributable to Japan’s popularity in the Thai outbound market.

Despite the impending low season, robust bookings are expected to continue in the second quarter. This is driven by demand during the Songkran festival, which sees Thai guests occupying available rooms in Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket, and Khao Yai, among others.

Dusit Foods, a subsidiary of Dusit, introduced the Pinto Hub yesterday, March 20. This new food business, a joint venture with Farm to Plate Processor, is a cloud kitchen platform that brings small local vendors and popular restaurants onto one platform for orders via Grab food delivery. Currently, it operates seven outlets in Bangkok and has plans to open three more, which will also offer dine-in services within the next two to three months, reported Bangkok Post.

Dusit Foods’ Managing Director, Manisa Mitpaibul, stated that the food business aims for revenue of 2.5 billion baht (US$ 70 million) by 2027, up from 1.3 billion baht (US$ 36.2 million) estimated in 2023.

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