Japanese tourists want to come to Thailand but can’t find plane tickets

Tourists from Japan are few and far between in Thailand. It’s not that Japanese tourists don’t want to come, they just can’t find plane tickets because the Thais have booked them all up, according to the Director of the Thai Travel Service Association (TTSA) Jarivat Wongsomsri.

There simply are not enough flights available to facilitate growing post-pandemic tourism between the two countries. Currently, flight availability between Japan and Thailand is just 40% of pre-pandemic levels.

Thais are plucking up the courage to travel again after the pandemic and Japan is an attractive destination. Last month, Japan launched visa-free entry for eligible countries, including Thailand. What’s more, the Japanese Yen has weakened against the baht.

Despite the cost of package holidays to Japan shooting up 80%-100%, Thais have snapped up tickets like hotcakes. All package deals are sold out until the end of the year, so Thais wishing to travel to Japan will have to wait until 2023, said Jarivat.

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East Asian Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Chuwit Sirivejkul revealed that from January – October this year, Thailand welcomed 230,000 – 240,000 tourists from Japan.

The TAT’s goal is for 350,000 tourists from Japan to enter Thailand before the end of the year. Chuwit said he has been working with agents in Japan to design packages for the kingdom which are attractive to Japanese tourists.

However, the TAT is concerned their goal is out of reach since Japanese tourists are complaining they can’t find plane tickets.

In July, budget airline Thai Vietjet commenced services between Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and Fukuoka Airport, on the north shore of Japan’s Kyushu island. It is the airline’s only service linking Thailand and Japan.

The airline increased the frequency between Bangkok and Fukuoka from three to four times per week to meet growing demand. However, demand kept rising, so frequency was increased again in September to five times per week.

But it’s still not enough. The TTSA said they hope airlines will launch more services between Thailand and Japan to give prospective tourists what they want.

Thailand Travel

leah

Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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