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Tourism officials expect slowdown next year once post-pandemic demand softens

Tourism in Thailand

Tourism numbers are good at the moment, especially with the surprisingly swift surge of Russian visitors. But is it sustainable?

The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects tourism demand to slow in the second quarter of 2023, following the end of “pent-up demand”. TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn says most of the numbers arriving at the moment are people who’ve been unable to travel for the last few years and acknowledges some geo-political circumstances which is helping to drive tourist arrivals at this time.

The Bangkok Post reports that the TAT is planning an event called “Amazing Thailand 10 Million Celebrations”, which will be held on December 10 at every point of entry in Thailand. Why December 10?

This is the date tourism officials expect visitor numbers to hit the magic 10 million number, several weeks ahead of the target of year-end. Despite this, Yuthasak says the tourism sector shouldn’t high tourist numbers as guaranteed.

“We might have to wait until the next low season to see how Thai tourism can cope with negative factors like the recession, high travel costs and inflation, as there will be no more drivers like pent-up demand.”

Meanwhile, the TAT has set a target of 2.38 trillion baht in revenue from domestic and international tourists next year. However, this does not include revenue from Chinese tourists, as there is still no indication of when international travel from China may resume.

“The best thing we can do for the Chinese market is to preserve the positive perception of Thailand and wait until they are allowed to come. For the time being, we have to accelerate other markets to offset the lack of Chinese.”

According to Yuthasak, there was no indication during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Thailand that travel would soon resume between the two countries.

However, he says TAT offices in China said more than 43,000 social media posts referenced the visit, with many posters commenting to say they want to visit Thailand again once international travel resumes.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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