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Thailand Tourism Outlook 2022

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  • Thailand Tourism Outlook 2022

    TAT 80% Revenue Recovery Plan: Get travellers to spend double

    While the Tourism Authority of Thailand admits the revenue figures for 2021 are grim and likely won’t improve monumentally in the final quarter, they still have a rosy outlook on the tourism market rebounding over the next few years. The TAT is estimating that by 2023 tourism revenue will have recovered to 80% of the huge numbers seen at its peak in 2019. They plan on making up revenue loss from fewer people coming by attracting wealthier travellers and getting tourists to spend more in Thailand.

    In 2020, before Covid-19 fully took hold, 6.7 million travellers journeyed to Thailand. This year, that number is only about 100,000 according to TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn. But he predicts that as things begin to reopen more over the next few months, 2022 should see a recovery to about 50% of the tourism numbers Thailand saw in 2019, with another 30% improvement the following year.

    The TAT’s plan to see revenue numbers jump so high seems to hinge on the idea of drawing more wealthy and high spending travellers to Thailand over the next few years. The TAT acknowledges they don’t expect to see anywhere near the 40 million travellers seen in 2019, and has taken a traditional Thai approach towards recovery: double the amount that each tourist pays.

    They hope to increase from the 49,700 THB average per tourist in 2019 to get higher-spending travellers to spend an average of 82,576 THB per person now. They say they will lean on sustainable and eco-friendly tourism that adds value for higher prices, but admit that their plan to attract only rich travellers will create great economic disparity and not benefit small and budget tourism businesses.

    Domestic tourism has seen a 34% drop this year from figures in 2020, when 90.52 million domestic trips were taken. The predictions for all of 2021 are that about 60 million domestic trips will be taken. Covid-19 once again affected travel, particularly dampening the Songkran holiday that still occurred sporadically around the country but was not a massive travel holiday period it traditionally is.

    But the government has relaunched 2 travel stimulus programs, We Travel Together and Tour Teaw Thai, restarting October 15 to the end of the year, offering subsidies to travellers. The TAT hopes this boost for travellers will push total travel revenue to 328 Billion THB for 2021, still 60% less than 2020 totals though.

    Comparatively, international tourism in 2021 is expected to reach just 8.25 billion baht this year, assuming the fourth quarter does well. This is a huge disparity from Thailand’s traditional tourism sector that saw two-thirds of revenue coming from international travellers, hence the frantic push for Sandbox programs and reopening schemes.

  • #2
    Minister of Tourism | Tourists will flood Thailand from November 01.2021

    Though often criticised for its overly-optimistic tourism predictions seemingly pulled out of thin air, this time the Thai government is sure people will be flooding back in as the borders reopen on November 1. Minister of Tourism and Sports Pipat Ratchakitprakan said that Thailand needs to brace itself for an onslaught of international travellers flooding into the country come November 01.2021

    The Minister said that Thailand has traditionally been a popular winter destination with travellers from colder Western and Northern countries flocking to the sunny beaches of Thailand to enjoy a warm winter. Though Covid-19 has nearly decimated Thailand’s tourism industry, as the world is slowly reopening and international travel and tourism, the Minister is confident that tourists are ready to pour back into Thailand.

    He urged Thailand to prepare for this influx of tourists and be ready for them with a strong screening process to keep Covid-19 safety streamlined and effective. Recently Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn suggested dropping the complex and frustrating certificate of entry requirement as well the reduce the costs of the required RT-PCR to under 1,000 THB each to help lure international travellers back to Thailand.

    The Tourism Minister remains optimistic though and says he believes that the reopening on November 01. 2021 will begin the flow of tourists through the end of the year and kickoff 2022 with a boom in tourism. Krungsri Securities is predicting 300,000 tourists arriving in Thailand by the end of 2021, and 14 million tourist arrivals in 2022. They forecast that 2023 will finally begin to be back to normal with an estimated 34 million tourists coming and finally a full recovery in 2024 with the prediction of 40 million tourists, the same as 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic brought the tourism market crashing down.

    • It's all rhetoric and propaganda.
      Thailand won't be flooded with tourists, because they're deliberately delaying publication of the exact regulations. And Thailand is on the red-list of some countries, so they can name the country, but virually nobody from there will accept quarantine on return. And with the virus all around and no places open to even have a drink (not suggesting only drunks come, but in your holiday you may want to go out and enjoy yourself beyond your evening meal!), many will go to safer and more open places. And once known, all the requirements will take time to arrange, so people aren't queueing up at BKK yet. Possibly exactly what the government wants. Just keep the carrot on the stick and everyone on hold. And then come December or January a few more will arrive. Then it's a matter of whether they can continue hiding the true figures when cases spike and the unvaccinated and Sinivac vaccinated start filling the hospitals... You can just see it happening already...


    • #3
      Of 100,000 visitors predicted for 2021, Hua Hin has seen 56

      The math doesn’t look good as tourism associates estimated that the last quarter of 2021 would bring 100,000 international tourists to Hua Hin, but so far only 56 have arrived. The Thai Hotel Association explains the disparity is due to the entry process being complicated, the quarantine and testing fees being expensive, and the ban on booze and entertainment venues and nightlife activities.

      In the first 2 weeks of Thailand’s grand reopening plans, only 56 of the predicted 100,000 travellers expected over the next 2 months have arrived in the seaside resort town of Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. And they aren’t staying for long. A total of 112 hotel booking nights were reported for those foreign travellers, suggesting an average stay of just 2 nights.

      16 of those who entered Hua Hin from international destinations have now travelled to other areas in the key tourist-designated Blue Zone, while the remaining 40 have ventured elsewhere around the country. To reach the goal of 100,000 tourists, the town would need to record over 2,300 arrivals per day until the end of the year.

      The Vice President of the Thai Hotels Association who also serves as an advisor to the Hua Hin – Cha-am Tourism Association says that a surge in Covid-19 infections in the province is certainly a deterrent for travellers, as well as the complicated Thailand Pass application process and strict entry requirements which discourage potential tourists from trying to come to Thailand.

      “Some arrivals do not understand how to fill out the information and think that they will face another lot of strict preventive measures and mandatory quarantine after going back to their country of origin as Thailand is still in risk country.”
      Many other factors are also creating obstacles to tourism recovery in Hua Hin including the lack of flights coming into Thailand and Hua Hin, and the health measures and restrictions implemented to keep Covid-19 from spreading out of control as tourists return to the town. Even after applicants are successful in getting approved for a Thailand Pass, there are still frustrations with the cost of RT-PCR tests and waiting for test results up to 24 hours in what essentially amounts to a 1-day arrival quarantine, though a newly developed RT-LAMP test may reduce test costs up to 80% and minimise wait times with results in as little as 20 minutes.

      And travellers are also keenly aware that the Hua Hin they once knew is not the same as the Hua Hin they are arriving into. The vibrant nightlife that was a big draw for expats looking to let loose and have a few drinks still remains closed in most of Thailand including the resort town.

      It’s common knowledge that bars and clubs are still opening illegally in many areas, but a covert night out with the risk of legal punishment isn’t nearly as enticing. And unlike key Blue Zone tourist destinations like Phuket and Bangkok, tourists in Hua Hin are not even allowed to have a drink with dinner as alcohol in restaurants still remains banned as well, creating a less-than-friendly atmosphere for arriving tourists.


      • #4
        TAT: 400,000 Tourist in 2021, 18 Million in 2022 worth 1 Trillion THB

        TAT Wet $$$ Dreams....

        The November 1 reopening of Thailand has received mixed results, with Pattaya reportedly seeing the vast majority of arrivals being expats coming home, and Hua Hin welcoming less than 100 of the 100,000 predicted tourists. But, as always, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has nothing but rosy predictions for the boom that will start any minute, with TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn saying yesterday that he expects 1 Trillion THB of tourism revenue next year from 18 million international tourists.

        The Governor pointed out that the reopening started with about 2,000 arrivals per day, but has now increased to 3,000 to 4,000 a day. (2019 figures would average to about 109,000 people per day.) He said the relative increase in arrivals is already an improvement over the original Phuket Sandbox reopening.

        Yuthasak also defended the Test & Go scheme, explaining in comments to Thai business media that the scheme builds confidence in Thailand in the tourist community. Many, including the Chon Buri Tourism Council recently, have said that the programme is too complex and strict, forcing potential tourists to jump through too many hoops only to arrive to a holiday mired with restrictions and bans on entertainment and alcohol. Many are opting for easier destinations around the world, or even right next door in Cambodia.

        The TAT Governor also talked about flights, saying that airlines were jumping to get back into Thailand, despite a recent report that 80% of flights slots were being dropped by foreign airlines. He said Emirates was planning on bringing their A380 airbuses to Thailand, with 500 tourists per flight. Also, other airlines were expressing interest in flying into more destinations, like Koh Samui and Krabi.

        Tourist arrivals for November are expected to hit 100,000 and the TAT is predicting that the 4 months following that would see 300,000 international tourists per month. That would make 400,000 people this year, a bit more than half of the previous optimistic prediction of 700,000 tourists by the end of 2021, itself a revision of the 1 Million people predicted just a month or two ago.

        His predictions for the next few years were equally as hopeful and confident. The TAT expects a half trillion in domestic tourism revenue in addition to the 1 trillion generated by 18 million international tourists next month. (For fans of some Thai math humour: what’s the answer when you divide the total revenue predicted, by the number of tourists predicted? 55,555.)

        In 2023 he predicts an 80% recovery to the levels before the Covid-19 pandemic, with 2.4 Trillion THB in tourism revenue. And the next year the TAT sees a full recovery and 3 Trillion THB in revenue.

        But the TAT head doesn’t foresee a return of the 40 Million travellers that came to Thailand in 2019, despite figures in his earlier prediction calculating to a need for 54 million travellers to earn that 3 trillion baht. Once again, the TAT is stressing that Thailand will not try to bring in any and all tourists with a desire to visit. Instead, they will focus their efforts on trying to lure wealthy, high-spending tourists to dump money into the economy.


        • #5
          Visit Thailand Year 2022” Tourism Campaign

          “Visit Thailand Year 2022” has been approved by the Cabinet as a new tourism campaign as the CCSA creates a special panel to address tourism industry problems due to Covid-19. The campaign is following PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s goal of bringing back the ailing industry according to Minister of Tourism and Sports Pipat Ratchakitprakan who proposed the programme for the cabinet’s approval on Tuesday. With the cooperation of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the scheme will launch with the goal of steadily increasing the hotel occupancy rate to 50% in each targeted area. The campaign interestingly will focus on just 4 destinations, only 2 of which are among the top tourist locations in Thailand.

          “The Tourism Authority of Thailand will oversee the campaign to draw foreign visitors to travel in Thailand using a budget drawn from both the government and private sector. The campaign will focus on Chiang Mai, Phuket, Nakhon Ratchasima and Ayutthaya.”
          This new tourism promotion will focus its efforts on a certain regional demographic, targeting travellers from India and the Middle East and encouraging them to make their travel plans to Thailand now for next year.
          Meanwhile, the CCSA also created a new government group similar to itself in name and focus – the Centre for Tourism and Sports Situation Administration. The group will be working with the goal of addressing problems and hurdles created by the Covid-19 pandemic and facing travellers now. It will be chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

          The new CTSSA, which was approved for creation on November 12, will help tourists navigate the Covid-19 safety and health procedures for travelling to any and all provinces in Thailand. The requirements can vary from province to province, as the colour-coded zone designation may change, creating confusion and complication for interprovincial travel.

          For example, a passenger is required to show a vaccine passport when landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok before continuing on to a destination in the Blue Zone designation for key tourist provinces, where they will once again be required to present the same proof of vaccination a second time.

          The Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said that he believes with all the Covid-19 safety regulations in place, and with the help of this new organisation to help keep travelling smooth, tourism in Thailand can rebound at least partially to meet the goal of hitting 50% of the pre-pandemic revenue totals by the end of 2022.


          • #6
            Thai research institute identifies global post-pandemic trends

            There is no doubt that in many ways, the world looks like a very different place now than it did before Covid-19. The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) has identified a number of global megatrends that they say will be a big part of post-pandemic life. The institute says that industries will have to learn to adapt to these new trends in order to stay competitive and relevant in the modern world. The director of TDRI says that there are 8 identifiable trends that will have the biggest impact on the global economy.
            • The competition between China and the United States, specifically over technology and trade. The TDRI reports that the economies of China and the US will begin recovering in earnest in 2022, and this growth will spur new innovation and competition between these two powers. Many other countries, such as Thailand, are not expected to get back to normal until 2023.
            • The integration of new, highly advanced technology into industry. New tech like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, blockchain, virtual reality and drones have the potential to totally upend the global economy.The digitalisation of companies.
            • The pandemic encouraged many businesses to transition to work from home or develop some other way of going contactless.
            • The growth of digital assets, like cryptocurrency.
            • The environmental movement, which will transform global industries and production by changing them to fit into more eco-friendly models. Decarbonisation and green energy will play an increasingly large role in the post-pandemic energy sector, according to the TDRI.
            • The growing demand for socially conscious business practices by consumers and investors.
            • The ageing global population. Global industries will have to stay innovative while also catering to an increasingly older consumer base.
            • The economic and political consequences of an expanding wealth gap – like growing welfare programmes, a rise in Socialist political policies, etc.
            The TDRI concludes by pointing out that these trends present both opportunities and risks for Thailand. But understanding them is vital in order to keep up with the modern world.


            • #7
              Finance Minister: economy of Thailand will recover in 2023

              Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith says that the economy of Thailand should see a full recovery, not next year, but by 2023. The economy is expected to grow by about 4% next year so 2022 would begin economic recovery, but it will take longer for Thailand definitely bounce back after the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic.

              The Finance Minister believes that Thailand economic growth will depend in large part on tourism and that by 2023 the tourism sector should have gained enough momentum to aid in the country full economic recovery. He said that after such a financially difficult catastrophe like Covid-19, the economy will take at least three years to regrow two levels similar to pre-pandemic.

              The government have plans to dump 1 trillion baht into the economy which, along with the positive figures of the growing trade and export sectors, should fuel all the economic expansion predicted for 2022. 300 billion baht have the government injection will come from state enterprise investment, while 600 billion more it’s from the state investment budget.

              With moves like the pumping money into the economy, the government hopes to increase consumer confidence which will encourage spending and consumption domestically that will help the economy grow. Private investment is also expected to be a helpful factor.

              The governor of the Bank of Thailand agreed with the predictions saying that he expects the company to fully recover by the first quarter of 2023. He warns though that government policy regarding finance and money must continue to support the economic growth in order for Thailand to recover.

              While Thailand is recovering from the pandemic the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 has sent the global economy into a panic and Siam Commercial Bank Economic Intelligence Center responded by downgrading their prediction for next year from 3.4% to 3.2%, quite a bit lower than the Minister of Finance’s prediction of 4%.

              The economic dive from Omicron maybe shorter lives than expected though, as research shows that the new variant is likely more infectious but less severe than the Delta variant which role likely mean that the economic effect will be less severe as well.


              • #8
                TAT planning A-to-Z tourism campaign with social influencers

                “Amazing New Chapters: From A-to-Z Thailand has it all” is the new brainchild from the Tourism Authority of Thailand that aims to use influencers to attract people to Thailand. Like the 26 letters of the alphabet, the TAT hopes to sign up 26 influencers, both regional and global, in an attempt to reach 26 million travellers around the world. The campaign is scheduled to launch officially at the online international travel trade show ITB Berlin in March of next year.

                As is customary in the Thai government, the plan has been announced before they have signed on any influencers to take part in the tourism campaign. (See: Lalisa’s New Year’s Eve Concert.) But they have set their sights on Formula One driver Alex Albon as he is Thai and British. The tourism campaign will aim to find and sign on influencers from different areas, categories, and markets, to represent all the different tourism styles and products that Thailand has to offer, one for each letter of the alphabet. To qualify as an influencer tourism ambassador for Thailand, an influencer must have at least 1 million followers on their social networks.

                The TAT has called on their offices around the world to seek out and recruit possible candidates for the planned promotion which is part of the TAT’s planned drives to show the world that Thailand is back as a tourist destination. The focus will shift from attracting huge numbers of tourists like before Covid-19 – 40 million in 2019 – to attracting high-quality bigger-spending tourists by offering a better tourist experience.

                3 performance metrics will be closely watched for next year’s tourism. First, the TAT has set a goal of getting each flight filled with 70% seat occupancy on average. Second, hotel bookings that have hovered around 25-30% this year (though that number likely doesn’t factor in a significant number of hotels that have closed completely) will have the goal of filling to 50% occupancy. Finally, the TAT is focused on getting per passenger spending up, with a target of 4,100 baht per person for domestic travellers and 62,580 baht per international traveller.

                Doing the math, that oddly specific number might hint that the TAT has set an unspoken target of 8 million or 16 million visitors for 2022, as that unrounded number would total 500 billion baht or 1 trillion baht respectively. The A-to-Z campaign aims to grow tourism with the help of 26 influencers, starting with F1 racer Albon, who the TAT says has expressed interest and would promote racing which is already popular in places like Buri Ram. Albon raced for Red Bull Racing this year but will join the British team Williams next year and has 1.3 million Instagram followers as well as a significant number on Twitter and Facebook.