Thai officials are hoping to capitalise on the upcoming Hindu festival of lights, also known as Diwali, to get Indian tourists into the country and bolster the stagnant tourism sector. The Bangkok Post notes that this expectation is also seen as a way of compensating for a lack of Chinese tourists. Diwali will begin in early November, which coincides with the planned waiver of quarantine for vaccinated tourists on November 1.
Somsong Sachaphimukh, vice president of the Thai Tourism Council says the tourism sector anticipates Indians will travel in large numbers for the festival. Prior to the pandemic, Indians comprised the third largest group of visitors to Thailand, behind Chinese and Malaysian visitors. Somsong says Indians may once again visit Thailand on holiday for its beaches, to have conferences, and hold destination weddings; a boon to Thailand, seeing as Thai officials don’t expect Chinese tourists to flock back to the Land of Smiles anytime soon.
“Indian travellers have a lot of spending power and a lot of potential”, says Somsong.
Somsong went on to say that Indian visitors could spend between 27,000 baht and 76,000 baht per trip to Thailand. She says that destination weddings are even more lucrative as they can rake in between 10 to 120 million baht in revenue for hotels and the service industry.
“Even though it will be difficult to match the number of visitors and revenue generated by Chinese travellers, Indian tourists can help support Thailand’s tourism industry during this time”.
3 million people have lost their jobs tied to the tourism sector because of the Covid pandemic. The Thai Tourism Council has had to adjust the estimated number of tourists this year from 500,000 travellers down to 280,000.
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