Thailand targets high-spending Middle Eastern tourists for tourism growth

Image courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is focusing on attracting high-spending visitors from the Middle East in the latter half of this year, with the goal of utilising this market as a new tourism growth engine.

Apichai Chatchalermkit, TAT’s deputy governor for tourism products and business, has stated that since Thailand re-established full diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia in early 2021, the authority has been increasing efforts to bring in high-spending tourists from the Middle East. Chatchalermkit also mentioned that Middle Eastern consumers hold a positive image of the quality of health and wellness businesses in Thailand.

TAT reported that in 2021, there were a total of 314,882 Middle Eastern tourists visiting Thailand. Approximately 100,000 of them were from Saudi Arabia and about 66,000 from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Middle Eastern travellers are regarded as a high-spending demographic with relatively more extended stays in Thailand. For instance, in 2019, tourists from the UAE stayed in Thailand for an average of 11.4 days, spending more than US$220 per day.

In order to promote Thai tourism in the Middle East, TAT recently attended the 30th Arabian Travel Market that took place in Dubai from May 1-4.

For this year, TAT anticipates tourism revenue to reach 2.38 trillion baht, around 80% of the pre-pandemic level recorded in 2019. Of the expected total revenue, 1.5 trillion baht would be attributed to foreign visitors, while the rest would come from local tourists. TAT predicts that between 25 and 30 million foreign travellers will visit Thailand in 2023.

Chatchalermkit has also mentioned that TAT is planning marketing events to encourage visits to Thailand. These events include tropical fruit tastings and fruit buffets in Rayong and Chanthaburi. Additionally, the authority is creating a schedule to promote durian in Hua Hin.

On Wednesday, TAT, together with Central Food Retail, the operator of Tops, launched the “Thailand Amazing Durian & Fruit Fest 2023.” Scheduled to run until May 15, this event showcases Thai fruit to stimulate tourism among both domestic and foreign tourists.

The three main attractions of the festival are a Monthong durian buffet, a durian café zone, and a fruit market zone. Tops projects the event to generate over 200 million baht in sales.

Furthermore, TAT has discussed the possibility of supporting fruit farmers by collaborating with retail chain stores to process their products for long-term income sustainability. The authority is also committed to providing fruit farmers with markets to sell their produce, reports Bangkok Post.

Business News

Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

Related Articles