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Thailand still confident tourists will return in 2020

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is expecting 3.18 trillion Baht in overall tourism revenue for Thailand in 2020, or a 4% year-on-year increase.

This includes 2.02 trillion Baht from international tourists (up 3%) and 1.16 trillion Baht from domestic tourists (up 5%).

The outlook for 2020 follows the overall tourism situation in 2019, which is estimated to generate 3.06 trillion Baht (4% increase over 2018), comprising 1.96 trillion Baht (up 4%) from 39.77 million international tourists (also up 4%) and 1.10 trillion Baht (up 3%) from 167 million domestic trips (up 1%).

Thailand welcomed the 39 millionth tourist on 27 December 2019.

“TAT’s target for 2020 is based on several favourable factors, ranging from the government’s stimulus measures, TAT’s focussed marketing strategies and promotions of emerging destinations, new air routes and the positive outlook of international tourists to Thailand from key source markets.” – Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor

The Thai government has launched 16 tourism stimulus measures aimed at stimulating more inbound travel, including the opening of more VAT refund shops and counters, 24-hour cross-border tourism on the Thai-Malaysian and Thai-Lao borders during weekends and holidays.

And the e-visa service and exemption of the visa-on-arrival fee until 30 April 2020, and the 50% discount on airport landing fees for international flights from 1 December 2019, to 30 April 2020, to name but a few.

Thailand is also seeing new air routes, including Hangzhou-Chiang Rai, Sendai-Bangkok, Munich-Phuket, and Doha-Chiang Mai.

At the same time, some emerging Thai destinations have become more popular among international tourists and gained global recognition.

Buri Ram ranked third on Airbnb’s list of 20 trending destinations to visit in 2020, while Sukhothai has been designated by UNESCO as a ‘Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art’.

Mr. Yuthasak said, “Leveraging these favourable factors and gearing up to mark the 60th anniversary in 2020, TAT is committed to making travel and tourism the kingdom’s most economically promising, environmentally sustainable, and culturally vibrant sector.”

TAT’s marketing strategies also include the launch of “The MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Phang Nga 2020.”

In 2020, TAT is seeing a positive outlook of international tourists to Thailand from several markets including the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar, and Vietnam), Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Spain, Eastern Europe, Israel and the US. The Chinese, Singaporean and Middle Eastern markets are showing signs of recovery.

Meanwhile, the Japanese, Hong Kong, European, Scandinavian, Australian and Latin American markets are expected to remain stable or show a slow growth.

Mr. Yuthasak said, “TAT is also preparing to overcome several challenges, including the effect from the China–US trade war, the rise in consumption tax in Japan, and Brexit.

The strong Thai Baht, Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, World Expo 2020 Dubai and stimulus visa schemes from country competitors have also been taken into consideration when laying out our tourism marketing strategies.”


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