In the absence of Chinese tourists, TAT pins its hopes on short-haul markets

PHOTO: Wikimedia

With the Chinese market showing no signs of a revival any time soon, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is turning to the neighbours. According to a Bangkok Post report, the TAT says it plans to attract 1.5 million tourists from Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Australia. Thanet Phetsuwan says if travel restrictions are eased in Southeast Asia, Thailand should be in a position to welcome around 800,000 visitors from Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Singapore.

“Some 1.5 million tourists from short-haul markets are within our reach, but we still want to have at least 5 million arrivals from overall 10 million this year. However, the target will be revised in the second half after we follow developments in East Asia.”

Yesterday, the TAT and Thai Vietjet signed a letter of intent for 1 year, aimed at boosting demand in Southeast Asia, particularly in places like Cambodia and Vietnam. Thai Vietjet boss Woranate Laprabang says the relaxation of travel restrictions, a decline in new Covid cases, and appealing marketing campaigns will all be key to attracting foreign tourists.

Thai Vietjet currently flies from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh 6 times a week. The carrier will resume flights between Bangkok and Da Nang, Central Vietnam, from March 27, with 3 flights a week. Flights from Bangkok to Phnom Penh begin on March 16.

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Thanet says the TAT intends to forge more relationships with regional carriers, including Thai AirAsia, which launches international flights to Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia this month and is already flying between Thailand and Cambodia.

The Thai government recently approved a travel bubble arrangement with India and Thanet says there are 12 airlines from both countries that will begin operating this month. Indian travel agents have launched sales and marketing campaigns to promote Thailand and the TAT expects around 500,000 Indian tourists this year.

Thanet also has an eye on Australia, with both Qantas and Thai Airways resuming flights to various cities. He says Thailand could potentially see around 200,000 visitors, particularly around the Easter holiday period.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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