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Thailand’s goal of receiving 30 million tourists derailed

According to Malaysia’s RHB Bank, Thailand is likely to fall short of its target of welcoming 30 million international visitors in 2023 due to fewer visitors from China than anticipated.

In a letter, senior economist at RHB Bank Barnabas Gan predicted that, instead of the seven million visitors the Thai government had anticipated, inbound arrivals from China to Thailand could fall just below five million in 2023.

The demand for outbound travel will be impacted if China’s economic activity slows down in the second half of 2023, he predicted.

More than 1.3 million visitors from China will visit Thailand in 2023, according to data from the hotel commerce platform SiteMinder, the Chinese e-commerce giant Meituan, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, which was released this week.

According to the Tourism and Sports Ministry, 12.5 million foreigners entered Thailand between January 1 and June 25.

Between December and May, Thailand saw more than two million foreign visitors each month.

As a result, RHB predicts that between 26 and 28 million foreign tourists will visit Thailand each year by 2023.
Still, 11.2 million will be more than twice as many as in 2022.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, Thailand welcomed roughly 40 million visitors, with Chinese visitors accounting for about 25% of the total.

We anticipate full-year tourist arrivals to fall short of official projections, Mr. Gan added. Given the recent downturn in inbound tourism momentum, Thailand’s tourism prognosis is still, at best, neutral.

Additionally, he listed concerns hurting Thailand’s tourism recovery prognosis moving forward, including increased domestic political noise and expanding tourism-led rivalry from neighboring countries.

The Thai travel agency owners share the pessimistic view for inbound Chinese tourists.

According to the Association of Thai Travel Agents, the number is expected to be under five million due to visa problems and safety concerns.

According to organization president Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, media stories about tourist extortion and safety have damaged Chinese tourists’ faith.

According to Mr. Sisdivachr, in order to boost the tourist rebound, the government needs to push for more arrivals between July and September, which falls around China’s summer vacation season.


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