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Thailand’s Tourism Authority Predicts 35 Million Foreign Tourists in 2024

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Tourism, Arrivals, Tourists, Thailand

The Tourism Authority of Thailand reports that in 2023, over 28 million foreign tourists visited Thailand, generating over one trillion baht in revenue from tourism expenditures.

Tuesday marked the arrival of 28,042,131 million foreigners between January 1st and December 31st,2023, according to Tourism and Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol. Their expenditure amounted to 1.2 trillion baht.

With 4.56 million arrivals in 2023, Malaysia has superseded China to become the largest feeder market for Thailand tourism.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand reports that Chinese travelers ranked second with 3.51 million; subsequent in rank were South Koreans (1.65 million), Indians 1.62 million, and Russians 1.48 million.

Visa exemptions facilitate travel between two ASEAN members, Malaysia and Thailand.

Before the pandemic, the largest market for Thailand’s tourism industry was Chinese tourists. Thailand received eleven million Chinese visitors in 2019, constituting over twenty-four percent of the country’s overall foreign arrivals.

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A September mall shooting in Bangkok, which resulted in the deaths of two foreigners, one of whom was Chinese, did, however, undermine the confidence of Chinese tourists. Due to minimal demand, several Chinese airlines canceled flights to Thailand for December and January.

In November of last year, the digital marketing firm China Trading Desk of Singapore revealed in a quarterly survey of travel sentiment that Thailand was no longer the most popular destination among Chinese travelers.

The survey inquired about the forthcoming international travel intentions of more than 10,000 Chinese citizens, with South Korea, Europe, and Singapore ranking highest.

Thailand and China will permanently waive visa requirements for each other’s citizens beginning in March, Thai Prime Minister SretthaThavisin announced on Tuesday, responding to a decline in Chinese travelers.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin stated that Thailand and China have reached a bilateral agreement to increase the speed of post-pandemic recovery in the Thai tourism sector by eliminating visa requirements for visitors beginning March 1, 2024.

“Starting on March 1, travel between Thailand and China will no longer require a visa.” On Tuesday, he stated, “This signifies a substantial advancement in the relations between China and Thailand.”

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Government Continues Targeting Chinese Tourists

According to the Associated Press, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, expressed China’s approval of the Thai action, stating that it served the two nations’ fundamental interests.

An estimated 35 million foreign visitors will visit Thailand in 2024, representing a 25 percent increase over the previous year.

The Tourism Authority projects that the number of long-haul travelers will reach 9.9 million, representing a 26 percent growth compared to the previous year’s figure of 7.84 million. This growth will generate revenue of 7.69 billion baht, an approximate 43 percent increase from the previous year’s figure of 5.36 billion.

The number of visitors from the regional market is anticipated to increase by 25.6 percent from 19.9 million the previous year to 25 million. Compared to the previous year (8.35 billion baht), this will result in a revenue surge of 38 percent, amounting to 1.15 trillion baht.

As per the policy of the Prime Minister, the European market assumes a critical function in augmenting the intended tourism revenues. This is because the market for long-distance travel entails comparatively high excursion expenditures per capita.

Per person, expenditures for the first half of 2023 amounted to 74,500 baht per excursion. The market for long-distance travel also comprises affluent segments, such as the Middle Eastern market, where individuals spend 92,200 baht per journey.

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European and American Tourists

Deputy governor for the European, African, Middle Eastern, and American markets at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Siripakon Chiewsamutr, stated that between two hundred thousand and three hundred thousand European tourists desired to travel and stay in Thailand for a duration exceeding thirty days, as permitted by the Thai government.

They applied for a tourist visa, extending their stay by 30 days, and requested authorization to enter and exit Thailand on multiple occasions. This is because European and long-distance tourists typically have travel objectives beyond Thailand. Additionally, they intend to visit adjacent countries within the region.

As a result, the TAT anticipates that tourist expenditures will increase in 2024 due to extended stays, which will compensate for the higher cost of airfare. The objective is to increase expenditures per person per excursion to 80,000 baht, representing a yearly growth of approximately 7 percent.

To encourage foreign tourists, particularly those on long-distance journeys, to increase their expenditures, the TAT anticipates presenting the Cabinet with a proposal to implement a tourism promotion program through complimentary visas.

Thailand received 28 million foreign visitors and generated $35.03 trillion in tourism revenues the previous year. Thailand aims to attract 35 million international visitors this year.

Keywords: Japanese tourists, Chinese Tourists, Thailand, the tourists

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