The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand says he remains hopeful that 20 million holidaymakers will travel to Thailand next year. Yuthasak Supasorn says this will almost certainly be possible if China lifts its border restrictions by then. He adds that he expects tourism revenue to reach 80% of its 2019 level during 2023.
“The industry next year is poised to strengthen from this year, making the goal of attracting 20 million tourists, half the total in 2019, achievable. This is particularly the case if China, which previously contributed one-third of arrivals, lifts border controls by that time.”
Earlier this week, the Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, predicted that Thailand would welcome around 20 million international arrivals next year, provided Covid-19 has been declared endemic and there are no new threats to tourism.
In order to get things going, Yuthasak says the country should plan to attract between 7 and 10 million tourists this year, adding that there are positive signs this can be done. On May 1, the kingdom welcomed 19,727 tourists, which rose to 15,439 and 14,108 on May 2 and 3, respectively. By contrast, Thailand welcomed between 10,000 and 12,000 a day last month, before PCR testing on arrival was lifted.
Data shows that as of May 3, Thailand has received 853,165 tourists, with 74,414 of those coming from the UK. 63,342 came from Germany, 55,995 from Russia, 51,783 from India, and 49,792 from the US.
Yuthasak is also optimistic about the low season, saying he believes Thailand could welcome 500,000 long-haul travellers this month. According to the TAT governor, a recent France Info report shows that searches for airline tickets to Thailand have quadrupled, while the most popular destination among Norwegians booking summer holidays is Bangkok.