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Thailand’s slow tourism recovery blamed on lack of flights, absence of key markets

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A senior boss at the online travel platform Klook says Thailand’s tourism sector is experiencing a slow recovery due to a shortage of flights and the absence of key feeder markets like China. Wilfred Fan says that while recovery across the Asia-Pacific region is strong, it’s about a year behind places like Europe and the US.

The Bangkok Post reports that places like Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are experiencing the lowest rate of recovery, at just 10% of tourist traffic compared to the same period in 2019. South Korea and Southeast Asia are doing marginally better, at 40% of the 2019 rate, but still nowhere near as strong as some Western countries and their tourist locations.

According to Fan, Singapore is experiencing a stronger recovery, at 85% of 2019’s rate, as is Malaysia, with 90%. The Klook boss says Singapore’s larger number of flights and flight connections is behind its strong recovery, whereas Thailand does not have enough long-haul flights arriving. And those that are arriving are costing passengers sometimes 2 – 3 times the fares they were paying in 2019.

Data from Klook shows that the number of people booking trips to or experiences in Thailand during the third quarter of 2022 is still 61% down on the same period in 2019. This is due to the fact that most bookings at that time came from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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