BANGKOK: The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is looking forward to attracting at least 1 million tourists per month during peak season last quarter with a less cumbersome entry process.
Partygoers enjoy themselves at the Full Moon Party on Koh Pha-ngan in Surat Thani province on April 16. Photo: Supapong Chaolan/Bangkok Post
The agency reported a Friday (April 29) spike in Thailand Pass registrations thanks to new entry rules enacted on April 1.
“Even though there are difficult factors such as low traveler confidence, a poor economy, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, a shortage of labor in the tourism sector and fierce competition from other destinations, our target of 7-10 million arrivals remains in sight,” said TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
As of April 25, Thailand had welcomed 713,183 international arrivals this year.
The highest tally was 215,490 arrivals in April, attributed to the cancellation of the 72-hour pre-travel RT-PCR test from April 1. The number of tourists for the whole month of April is expected to reach 300,000.
Mr Yuthasak said the market is expected to pick up speed during the peak season, with at least 1 million foreign tourists per month starting in October.
Following Friday’s rollout of the new registration for the Thailand Pass system that eliminates COVID-19 testing, there were 40,000 to 50,000 registrants in the first 12 hours, the agency said.
The promising response indicates strong tourism demand from overseas visitors, with further relaxation of entry rules due on May 1.
He said the TAT is expected to boost Thai tourism by promoting short-haul and long-haul markets, especially countries with fewer travel conditions allowing tourists to travel freely.
For the long-haul market, the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia, the United States, Canada, Latin America and European countries are among the target markets.
TAT plans to participate in international trade shows such as the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) North America from September 19-22 in Mexico. It plans to invite tour operators to join roadshows such as Amazing New Chapters Roadshow in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from May 15-17.
The short-haul market includes India as a target country as there is potential with 200 wedding ceremony groups already confirmed this year, TAT said. Other promising markets are Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea, Yuthasak said.
Joint promotions with partners are scheduled throughout this year for premium segments, led by health and wellness, golf, leisure, luxury and weddings.
On Friday, the TAT held a meeting with tourism operators to discuss marketing plans for the international market. He said operators have suggested focusing on emerging South Asian markets such as Bangladesh and Pakistan.