Thailand’s lawmakers agreed to the cabinet secretariat’s proposal to designate Monday, July 31, a special government holiday, resulting in a six-day vacation period from July 28 to August 2 to promote local tourism.
For government personnel, the extra day means an uninterrupted six-day weekend.
According to the local office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the long holiday at the end of the month will produce more than 2 billion baht in tourism earnings for Phuket.
The TAT anticipates that over 250,000 people would visit the southern resort island from Friday to Sunday, generating around 2.2 billion baht, according to the office’s director, Lertchai Wangtrakuldee.
Phuket has 1,890 hotels with a total of 101,556 rooms. According to him, hotel occupancy is currently at 65.9%, with an average stay of 1.7 days per visitor.
The caretaker cabinet proclaimed Monday, July 31 a special government holiday on Tuesday, establishing a six-day vacation period from July 28 to August 2 to encourage travel and aid the economy.
July 28 is His Majesty the King’s birthday, August 1 is Asana Bucha Day, and August 2 is the start of Buddhist Lent, all of which are government holidays. For government personnel, the extra day means an uninterrupted six-day weekend.
Tourism Authority of Thailand to Attract 2 Million Russians
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) hopes to attract 2 million Russian tourists next year, a new record for the sector, thanks to an increase in airline capacity and Thailand’s neutral posture in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
According to Khanittha Phanworawat, director of TAT’s Moscow office, achieving the target is attainable provided Thailand maintains the reputation of being a friendly country among Russian visitors, especially if other countries maintain their sanctions against Russia.
Prior to the war with Ukraine, Russian tourists traditionally preferred European destinations for their summer vacations, but now they visit Thailand all year, not just during peak season, according to Ms Khanittha.
She stated that Thailand remains the top destination for Russians, the majority of whom have more purchasing power and stay for longer periods of time.
Thailand has welcomed over 840,000 Russian visitors since the beginning of the year, placing it among the top five countries. According to Ms Khanittha, the overall number could approach 1.3 million or perhaps surpass the 1.48 million reported in 2019.
Flights between Thailand and Europe, including Russia, are expected to resume at roughly 70% of the level experienced in 2019 during this year’s hot season. According to Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT deputy governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas, it will rise even during the next high (cool) season.
Thailand is one of the top five outbound destinations for Russians, according to Russia’s Federal Border Guard Service and Thailand’s Immigration Bureau, with 435,000 tourists expected to arrive in 2022.
Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt received the most Russian visitors, with over 3.7 million, 900,000, and 760,000 visitors, respectively.
However, problems remain, such as Russian carriers’ capacity, which does not yet have enough planes to serve direct trips.
According to Ms Khanittha, economic sanctions against Russia have damaged aviation insurance for Russian aircraft and, as a result, airlines’ efforts to extend their services.
Many Thai airlines are unable to fill this need since they want to focus on short-haul flights.
TAT will concentrate on increasing tourism demand through new segments. A broader market would encourage additional airlines to expand their services between Thailand and Russia.
Leisure travellers who choose beaches, adventure travellers, health and wellness travellers, and honeymooners are key categories.
While waiting for additional direct flights, TAT must promote Thai tourism through connecting flights that exploit the Middle East as an aviation hub.