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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Thai Tourism Revenue Forecast Falls Short of Government Goal

Thai Tourism Revenue Likely to Miss Government Goal

The most realistic scenario for Thai tourism revenue this year is 3 trillion baht, falling short of the government’s target of 3.5 trillion baht due to economic downturns in key markets, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

As of June 2, 2024, Thailand had welcomed 14.9 million foreign tourists, generating 709 billion baht for the tourism sector. This figure represents roughly 30% of the international revenue target of 2.38 trillion baht that the government had anticipated for the year.

Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT’s deputy governor for international marketing in Asia and the South Pacific, indicated that achieving the 3 trillion baht revenue mark is the most likely outcome given the economic stagnation in significant markets such as China. He noted that flights from China to Thailand are operating at only 75% of their pre-pandemic capacity.

To bridge the 500 billion baht shortfall, the tourism industry requires additional stimulus, particularly in the Chinese market. While TAT has signed letters of intent with eight major tourism partners in China, it lacks the necessary budget to strengthen these partnerships, Chattan explained.

Speaking at the Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) 2024 in Phangnga on June 5, Chattan stated that of the 3.5 trillion baht revenue target, the Asian and South Pacific market is expected to contribute 980 billion baht. Should Thailand achieve the 3 trillion baht mark, short-haul markets would likely account for 840 billion baht.

Chuwit Sirivejkul, TAT’s regional director of marketing for East Asia, emphasized the need for consistent events and activities to maintain market momentum during the low season. He highlighted that the Chinese market is experiencing a lull this month due to university entrance exams, resulting in only 15,000-18,000 tourists per day. However, he expects a rebound from July onwards.

To capitalize on this anticipated recovery, TAT plans to organize at least two major events in the next two months. One key initiative involves launching a special version of the popular Chinese doll Labubu, in collaboration with the Chinese government. This limited edition doll celebrates the upcoming 50-year diplomatic relationship between China and Thailand.

Pop Mart, the Chinese supplier of Labubu, has designed a local edition for Thailand. TAT intends to use the doll as a mascot to promote attractions, aiming to engage its extensive fan base of over 100 million people worldwide. Online travel agents such as Trip.com and Tongcheng Travel will feature travel packages that follow Labubu’s destinations and activities.

In addition, TAT plans to partner with the private sector to conduct roadshows in three emerging Chinese cities: Changsha, Xi’an, and Zhengzhou, starting in July.

Chattan noted that this year’s TTM+ event has attracted 79 Chinese agents, the highest number among 425 international buyers from 50 countries. Business deals during TTM+ are expected to generate 3 billion baht. He also announced that Chiang Mai is slated to host the 2025 edition of TTM+.

Among the officials present at these discussions were Mr. Pramet Ngampichet, Mayor of Pattaya City; Mr. Manoch Nongyai; Mr. Kiattisak Sriwongchai, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Pattaya City; Acting Permanent Secretary of Pattaya City; Mr. Meechai Inpitak, Chairman of the Pattaya City Mayor’s Working Group; and Police Lieutenant Colonel Chayaphon Sodrud, Deputy Police Inspector at Pattaya City Police Station.

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