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Thailand Celebrates 10 Million Tourist Arrivals for 2022

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Thailand Celebrates 10 Million Tourist Arrivals for 2022

On Saturday, eight airports and two immigration checkpoints in Thailand held celebrations to welcome foreign visitors as the country recorded 10 million foreign tourist arrivals for the year.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry organized the “Amazing Thailand 10 Million Celebrations” event to highlight the industry’s steady recovery following a Covid-induced downturn that lasted more than two years.

Local dignitaries and tourism business leaders gathered at all seven international airports — Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, U-Tapao Rayong-Pataya, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Krabi, and Samui — as well as the Sadao and Nong Khai border checkpoints.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was at Suvarnabhumi airport, where two passengers from Saudi Arabian Airlines flight SV 846 from Riyadh, who arrived at 3pm, were chosen for 200,000 baht in prizes to commemorate the 10-million mark.

In a speech, Gen Prayut said, “The sky is open.”

“We want to reassure people that Thailand is still one of the (top) tourist destinations in the world.”

At 11.38 a.m., an Azur Air charter flight from Moscow carrying 336 passengers touched down at U-Tapao Rayong-Pattaya international airport. Another Azur Air charter from Novosibirsk, Russia, arrived 14 minutes later.

The Russian tourists were greeted and given souvenirs by Chon Buri governor Thawatchai Srithong, Rayong deputy governor Pirun Hemarak, and senior officials from the airport and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Thailand Celebrates 10 Million Tourist Arrivals for 2022

Governor Narong Woonciew led representatives from the public and private sectors in welcoming 722 visitors from the United Kingdom, India, and South Korea to Phuket.

Thailand welcomed 40 million foreign tourists in 2019, generating approximately 2 trillion baht in revenue for the country prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The majority of visitors to the country arrived in the second half of the year, as Covid restrictions were gradually eased. The 500 billion baht spent by the 10 million visitors as of Saturday is estimated to be 500 billion baht, or 50,000 baht per person per trip.

The TAT anticipates 311,000 Russian arrivals this year, generating 24 billion baht. Total international arrivals are expected to reach around 20 million by 2023.

According to the TAT, 857,930 Indian tourists have visited the country so far this year, with an average stay of 7.43 nights per person and an average spending of 40,000 baht.

It has 385,421 visitors from the United Kingdom, with an average stay of 16-18 nights and spending of 49,000 baht per trip. Despite the positive mood this month, the TAT is cautious about the tourism outlook for next year.

It predicted a slowdown in the second quarter of next year, following the current high season, because there will be no more pent-up flight demand, which has fueled the market this year.

Thailand Celebrates 10 Million Tourist Arrivals for 2022

Meanwhile, the winter holiday season and a hard sales push in December are expected to be the final push for local tourism operators to increase average occupancy to 50% this year, which is still significantly lower than the 69.5% average posted in 2019.

According to Thapanee Kiatphaibool, deputy governor for domestic marketing at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), there were 219 million local trips, including one-day trips, between January and November, generating 800 billion baht. Overnight stays accounted for 160 million of that total, contributing to an average occupancy rate of 48%.

During a meeting with local tourism operators led by the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), Ms Thapanee stated that a large promotional fair and several holidays this month should help stimulate local demand and accelerate average occupancy to 50%, a level that could help hoteliers avoid losses.

The cabinet postponed the approval of the new phase of the local stimulus campaign called “We Travel Together” this week, pushing it to December 20.

While waiting for that scheme, she stated that the agency and tourism operators agreed to create their own hard-sell promotional event called Amazing Thailand Travel Fair 2022, which will take place from December 15 to 18 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center and will combine a consumer fair and business matching events to promote meetings and incentive travel.

Ms Thapanee stated that hotels and tour operators are planning to offer up to 70% discounts to domestic visitors during the four-day show, which is expected to attract at least 40,000 visitors and generate approximately 500 million baht.

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“Based on increased domestic flights, particularly to northern destinations such as Chiang Mai, December should be the best month for local tourism this year. Each region has planned a variety of sports, cultural, and entertainment events to entice visitors during the upcoming holiday season “She stated.

Tourism in the South generated the most revenue in the first 11 months of this year, totaling 380 billion baht from 34.2 million local trips, followed by the central region, which generated 269 billion baht from 75.4 million local trips, and the eastern region, which generated 44.4 million local trips and contributed 253 billion baht.

Bangkok, Chon Buri, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, and Ayutthaya were the most popular provinces.

Ms Thapanee stated that if the fair is a success, the two organizations may make it an annual event by rescheduling the organizing period to coincide with Thailand Travel Mart Plus, which focuses on inbound tourism.

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