Thailand tourism spending to miss 1.2tn baht target, rising costs

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Thailand’s domestic tourism spending is projected to fall short of the government’s ambitious target of 1.2 trillion baht amid economic concerns and rising travel costs, as the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) indicates.

TAT Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing, Somradee Chitchong, expressed confidence that domestic trips would reach 210 million this year, surpassing the initial target of 200 million.

Despite this, she noted that economic issues prevalent in the first half of the year are likely to persist, making it challenging to achieve the revised domestic revenue target of 1.2 trillion baht, up from the original goal of 1.08 trillion baht.

Tourism and Sports Minister Sermsak Pongpanit acknowledged at a recent Association of Thai Travel Agents’ meeting that the next six months would be particularly tough for the tourism sector to meet the new revenue target of 3.5 trillion baht, an increase from the previously projected 3 trillion baht.

“We should be able to stimulate 200 million domestic trips, generating 1.08 trillion baht, but to reach a higher target, several factors must be taken into account.”

Somradee highlighted that local tourists have reduced their shopping expenditures due to economic uncertainties, with many opting for online shopping after viewing products in physical stores.

Online stores

“Many tourists visited local shops but decided to ask for contacts or operators’ online stores to order the products after returning home. This method was more convenient for tourists and helped them delay purchasing further.”

Elevated airfares have also impacted travellers’ budgets, leading to decreased spending on shopping during trips. Tourists have been reallocating more of their travel budgets towards airfare, limiting their ability to spend on other expenses.

Somradee observed that while people are still travelling, they are being more frugal. Some travellers, although not directly affected by the economic downturn, have been influenced by negative news and stock market declines, prompting them to cut back on travel expenditures. She noted that those with sufficient funds often chose destinations with weaker currencies, such as Japan.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry’s expenditure data, which excludes transport costs from the origin and focuses only on spending at the destination such as hotels, shopping, and dining, suggests that overall revenue growth for the year will be modest.

To boost the market during the low season, TAT is supporting this year’s Thai Teaw Thai Fair, scheduled for June 27 to 30, with a goal of achieving at least 200 million baht in transactions over the four-day event, reported Bangkok Post.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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