Thailand poised for unprecedented surge in tourists

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Thailand is set to witness a phenomenal surge in tourists, with visitor numbers from four key markets, Malaysia, India, South Korea, and Russia, expected to hit record highs in 2024, thanks to robust government support and the country’s soft power initiatives.

According to the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), arrivals from Malaysia are projected to soar to 5 million this year, surpassing the pre-pandemic peak of 4.27 million in 2019. ATTA President Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn announced yesterday, June 27, that the ATTA anticipate seeing 2 million visitors each from India and South Korea, exceeding their respective 2019 figures of 1.96 million and 1.88 million. He added that 1.8 million Russian tourists are also expected, outstripping the 1.74 million recorded in 2023.

However, Chinese tourists will continue to dominate Thailand’s tourism landscape, with an estimated 7 million arrivals this year. Sisdivachr highlighted that total foreign arrivals are predicted to exceed 35 million in 2024, edging closer to the government’s ambitious target of 36.7 million.

“Whether we meet the government target will depend on promotions in the second half of the year and during the high season, especially roadshows in target overseas markets.”

Thailand welcomed 17 million foreign tourists in the first half of the year, with Chinese visitors making up a significant portion at 3.5 million.

To boost these numbers, ATTA will collaborate with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to host roadshow events in major Chinese cities, including Zhengzhou, Changsha, and Xi’an in September. Additionally, the ATTA president expects a surge in tourists to Bangkok’s Chinatown, following its feature in K-pop sensation Lisa from BLACKPINK’s latest music video.

Lisa has millions of fans worldwide, and her song Rockstar, which uses Bangkok’s iconic Yaowarat neighbourhood as a backdrop, has already garnered over 5 million views just three hours after its YouTube release, reported The Nation.

In related news, 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.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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