According to the government, Thailand is planning hundreds of cultural and sporting events and may eliminate visa restrictions for visitors from more European nations in an effort to encourage them to stay longer and spend more money.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s top assistant, Prommin Lertsuridej, stated in an interview on Thursday that the administration is debating a proposal to let visitors of various European nationalities to stay for up to ninety days. In order to attract tourists, he added, there would be over 3,000 activities planned through the end of the following year, including marathons, music concerts, and other cultural celebrations.
Since taking office as prime minister in August, Mr. Srettha has cited tourism as a “quick win” to boost Thailand’s economy. In an effort to shorten visitor wait times, his administration has ordered airlines to expand their network and streamline airport operations. It has also temporarily lifted the visa restrictions for travelers from Russia, China, Kazakhstan, India, and Taiwan. Additionally, beginning next month, it intends to permit nightlife establishments in select regions of Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Chonburi to remain open until four in the morning.
Thailand has reversed the majority of the travel restrictions imposed during the epidemic, but average traveler spending has fallen short of official projections and has not kept pace with pre-Covid levels.
Nearly 40 million foreign visitors made history in the nation in 2019, bringing in 1.91 trillion baht. According to government data, each tourist spent an average of 47,895 baht each trip that year, lasting nine days. As of November 12 of this year, Thailand had received 981.7 billion baht in foreign tourism earnings and had welcomed 23.2 million foreign visitors. This indicates that it is now running at 12% less than the benchmark for per-trip spending in 2019.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has set a target of at least 2 trillion baht ($57 billion) by 2024 in order to bring international tourism earnings back to pre-Covid levels.
The Loi Krathong festival, the Bangkok Marathon, and New Year’s festivities are all part of the “Winter Festival” celebrations, which Mr. Srettha announced last week. The event’s goal is to draw tourists during the busiest travel months of November through January by showcasing Thailand’s distinctive culture.
“We intend to create additional attractions and offers to encourage visitors to prolong their stay,” Mr. Prommin, the premier’s secretary-general, declared. More fun in the nightlife scene, longer stays, and more activities to draw them in. We intend for tourists to spend more money in this way.