Indians account for the highest number of foreign arrivals in Thailand this year with 249,466 setting foot in the country from Jan 1 to July 6, said Taweesilp Visanuyothin, a spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Speaking during Friday’s press conference, he said the Tourism and Sports Ministry reported that 2,214,132 visitors have arrived in the first half of the year, generating 125 billion baht in revenue.
As a further example, he said 30,947 foreigners arrived in the kingdom on Wednesday. Bangkok had the highest number, Dr Taweesilp said.
Meanwhile, Chiang Mai tourism entrepreneurs were asked to discuss preparations for anticipated tourist demand during a forum held by the Tourism Industry Council of Chiang Mai and the Pinkanakorn Development Agency (PDA) yesterday.
The forum was aimed at encouraging local tourism entrepreneurs to discuss opportunities for welcoming more Indian tourists as the Covid-19 pandemic eases.
Saisit Jetsiktat from the PDA said Chiang Mai has become popular among Indians after tourism organisations visited the South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange 2022 in New Delhi earlier in the year.
“The province has seen more reservations and visitors coming from India, so entrepreneurs and tourism agencies need to prepare themselves to provide accommodations to meet the tourists’ demands,” he said.
He added that Chiang Mai has the potential to offer cultural tourism, hold events in the Mice industry (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) and provide wedding venues.
Indian tourists have become a target for the Chiang Mai tourism industry as international travel remains a hurdle for Chinese tourists, Mr Saisit said.
Pre-pandemic, Chinese accounted for one-third of the 40 million or so annual arrivals.
The new target group will help create revenue for the local economy and mobilise Thailand’s tourism, he added.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has suggested the government extend the tourist visa stay from 30 to 45 days and from 15 to 45 days for visas on arrival.