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European Groups Choosing Bali Over Thailand

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Thailand

High competition from Bali may make it difficult for Thailand to maintain its tourism market, according to Bhumikitti Ruktaengam, advisory chairman of the Phuket Tourist Association,

Mr. Bhumikitti claims that some European groups, which have been a long-standing market for Phuket, have been relocated to Bali during the winter.

He stated that prior to the pandemic, the average spending in Bali was higher than in Phuket, but that the amount is now comparable.

Combined with very similar cultural elements, Bali has attracted a large number of visitors during this time period, including some who were previously big fans of visiting Phuket.

Looking ahead to 2023, he said there are still domestic factors to consider, such as political tensions as the general election is scheduled for May 2023.

Furthermore, rising energy prices and the Russia-Ukraine conflict are affecting tourism spending and may make it more difficult for the Tourism Authority of Thailand to increase expenditure per trip.

The massive anti-Covid-19 protests in China will also make travel restrictions more unpredictable, as no one knows how Beijing will react to this situation.

Tourism Sector Struggling in Thailand

Integration between the public and private sectors is required, particularly in tourism policies. Thai Airways International, in particular, should play a more important role.

He stated that the majority of countries with a strong recovery rate have national airlines that help passengers get to their desired destinations.

Thai Airways currently operates very few direct flights to Phuket, despite other international airlines increasing flights.

According to Krod Rojanastien, president of the Thai Spa Association, tourist flow have not returned to normal levels, and tensions over the recession and geopolitics will continue to affect tourism in Thailand.

He believes Thailand should focus on potential tourism products it already has that could attract high-spending visitors.

Mr Krod, who also consulta to the president of Chiva-Som International Health Resort, believes Thailand’s reputation in health and wellness could help the resort expand its management at the Zulal Wellness Resort in Qatar, which is currently hosting the German team during the World Cup.

“Our health and well-being have enormous potential. However, because manpower shortage is a critical issue, the government should do more to support educational programs related to these services “Mr. Krod stated.

Meanwhile, the islands of the southern region are expected to see a dramatic increase in tourist this year, with the islands off the coast of Surat Thani seeing a 60% increase in arrivals.

Tourism Revenue Increases on Islands

According to Mr. Suphakhan Yodchun, director of the Tourism Authority Offices of Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan, the southern islands have welcomed 2.3 million tourists in the past ten months, generating more than Bt40 billion in revenue.

Similarly, figures from the Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park, Maya Bay in Krabi, are currently registering around 4,000 plus visitors a day.

Mr. Theekhawut Sriburin, chief of Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park, said the numbers a very positive sign, as the Maya bay had been closed for habitat restoration work from August to September.

Previously, Maya bay had been closed for three years for the same reason.

To minimize the environmental impact of the reopening, tourists must follow the national park’s rules, which include no swimming in the ocean, no collecting sea creatures, and only using reef-safe sunscreen.

“We want to preserve as many of Maya bay’s resources as possible,” he said.

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