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Thailand Banks on High Energy Costs to Boost Tourism

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Thailand Banks on High Energy Cost to Boost Tourism

Thailand is banking a low baht and high energy costs in western countries to bring an influx of travellers from Europe and the United States in search of tropical weather to expedite a tourism industry revival.

The head of Thailand’s Tourism Authority, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, anticipates a 30 percent growth in average per-trip expenditures in Thailand in the coming year.

In the 2nd quarter of this year, tourists spent an average of 55,000 baht ($1,443) on each trip, up from 47,000 baht before the pandemic.

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As tourist numbers will only gradually recover to pre-Covid levels, Thailand will concentrate on extracting more from each visitor, according to Yuthasak, who added that a 16-year low in the value of the baht versus the dollar would encourage spending.

After removing all Covid-related entry restrictions to entice vacationers from long-haul European, UK and North American markets, Thailand is extending the length of stay for tourists from approximately 70 countries during the so-called hot season till March.

Yuthasak stated that high gas and energy expenses throughout the winter might encourage westerners to flee the cold for Thailand, adding that the longer tourists stay, the more they spend.

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“Save your money, lock up your home, and travel to Thailand. “Pay for a pool villa in Phuket instead of energy expenses,” Yuthasak said during a press conference.

According to official figures, Thailand welcomed around 40 million foreign tourists in 2019, the year before the outbreak, which generated more than $62 billion in revenue.

According to Yuthasak, tourist arrivals totalled 6.48 million through October 9 and are anticipated to surpass 10 million for the entire year, up from less than 500,000 in 2021. He said that the number might rise to 20 million the next year, with expected tourism revenue of 2.49 trillion baht, or 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

Yuthasak noted that the recovery rate would depend on how quickly China reopens its closed borders due to its tight Covid-Zero policy. Before the pandemic, China was the largest source of tourists to Thailand, accounting for more than a quarter of overseas arrivals.

Yuthasak stated that China might begin to open up around the Lunar New Year, which begins in late January.

 

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