BANGKOK – Thailand’s Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has cut its estimate for tourism revenue growth for 2019 from 10% to 9.5%, attributing the set back to the global slowdown, strong baht and rising fuel prices.
The number of tourist arrivals this year is now estimated at 40.2 million, far short of the 41.3 million visitors the Tourism authority confidently targeted early this year.
Tourism revenue receipts are expected be down to 3.38 trillion baht, from 3.4 trillion, breaking down into 2.21 trillion baht from foreign tourists and 1.17 trillion from domestic travellers, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
He said some negative conditions surrounding Thailand’s tourism were expected to ease next year, and TAT’s marketing plans would help boost numbers to an expected 3.72 trillion baht in 2020, a 10% growth year-on-year.
Speaking at the TATAP 2020 forum in Udon Thani, Mr Yuthasak said the 10% growth target for next year was a considerable challenge, but it was achievable.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand agency would place a higher focus on market segmentation and niche marketing, especially lifestyle and health-concerns tourists.
Cooperation with overseas travel agencies would be strengthened further to broaden the market and facilitate foreign visitors making arrangements abroad, he told the Bangkok Post.
The Tourism Authority believes about 42 million foreign visitors would arrive in Thailand next year, contributing about 2.43 trillion baht, or 65% of the total receipts, while domestic travel would make up the balance, at 1.28 trillion baht.
Meanwhile, tourism operators said the closure of some popular beaches in the South of Thailand turned travelers to other countries in the region.
The China market plunged in the months after the event, with the biggest drop of nearly 20% in October, prompting the government to waive visa-on-arrival fees for visitors from 21 countries, including China.
By Dusida Worrachaddejchai
The Bangkok Post