The vice president of the Tourism Council of Thailand says that if the country fully reopens within the second quarter of the year, it just might attract at least five million international tourists during the second half of 2022. He added that if China lifts international travel restrictions on its citizens, there could be seven to eight million international tourists by the end of the year.
China has an annual holiday from October 1-7, when Chinese travellers could potentially come to Thailand. The VP, Vichit Prakobgosol, stressed that the sooner Thailand reopens, the better its chances at keeping it’s edge as a renowned tourist destination.
Vichit predicts that Thailand will get back 70% of its pre-Covid tourist numbers next year, and 100% of them by 2024. Vichit noted that since Covid-19 broke out, tourists have traveled in smaller groups, and have focused more on relaxation activities, spending more time in hotels. He said this has made it hard for tour operators who lead large groups on scheduled outings.
In February, Thailand won an award with a Chinese travel magazine for “2021 most popular overseas travel destination”. China also awarded the Tourism Authority of Thailand “best partner” and “excellent partner” honours. This was for its marketing and industry support. In November 2020, Thailand had lost its spot as a top destination for Chinese tourists.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese tourists made up between 25-30% of visits. Thailand altogether had nearly 40 million tourists in 2019. But by November 2021, Thailand was reporting that it had lost about US$50 billion a year in tourism revenue.
SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand
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