Following the implementation of a tourist visa exemption plan, the Tourism Authority of Thailand reported that approximately 1.5 million Indian visitors had visited Thailand this year, exceeding the target.
According to Patsee Permvongsenee, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Executive Director of Asean, South Asia, and South Pacific Region, the visa exemption for Indian visitors, which is in effect from November 10 this year until May 10, 2024, has increased daily Indian arrivals from 4,000 to 5,000-5,500 people.
According to Ms Patsee, the number of Indian visitors visiting the nation has now surpassed the TAT’s original objective of 1.4 million for this year.
TAT’s New Delhi and Mumbai offices have increased promotional efforts with their partners in order to increase tourist arrivals from India. The promotions target corporate and incentive groups, golfers, wedding and honeymoon parties, and other high-potential groups, she said on Friday during a special event to welcome Air India’s inaugural flight from New Delhi to Phuket.
Phuket governor Sophon Suwannarat, executives and officials from TAT, Phuket airport, government agencies, and private enterprises, as well as Indian guests on board aircraft AI378, attended the occasion.
According to Ms Patsee, Air India will begin operating four flights per week on the New Delhi-Phuket route on Friday. For this service, which will depart New Delhi on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, the airline will employ an A320 Neo airbus, which can hold 162 passengers each flight.
In January, the number of flights would increase from four per week to daily flights, she said. Direct flights on this route will raise air-seat capacity between India and Thailand to 2,438,043 seats, a 77% increase over pre-coronavirus-pandemic 1992 levels.
From January 1 to December 10, this year, 1.5 million Indians arrived, spending an average of 39,500 baht per person every trip.
The majority of Indian arrivals, 75%, were free independent travellers or FIT. According to the TAT, their most popular tourist destinations were Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phuket, Krabi, and Phangnga.
Phuket airport director Monchai Tanode stated that Air India will fly seven flights per day following the New Year. According to him, India currently ranks third in terms of passenger arrivals, with Russia first and China second.
According to Lerdchai Wangtrakoondee, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Phuket office, the maiden flight from New Delhi to Phuket will help the island resort province’s Indian market.
With around 1,000 Indian tourists visiting Phuket daily, India has risen from fourth to third place. From January to November, the island province received 235,070 Indian visitors.