The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) gave an update on Thailand’s tourism situation, its relaxed entry requirements, its visitor arrivals targets, its new marketing direction, and more, to delegates at the Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) 2022 which is taking place this week, from 8-10 June, in Phuket.
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing and Communications, said, “Thailand is open and ready to welcome tourists from around the world. Despite the long break the pandemic brought us, we have continued working and over these two years, there have been many changes and adjustments in the tourism industry globally and in Thailand. So, we have come up with new directions and marketing communication concepts that are curated to cater to the current trends and make the most memorable visits for our tourists.”
All the initiatives including the Special Tourist Visa (STV), Happy Quarantine, the Phuket Sandbox, and the Test & Go quarantine-free entry scheme in November 2021 paving the way to fully reopen and give a total visitor arrival count of 427,869 for the year 2021.
For 2022, Thailand has set a target of 7-10 million international tourists and 160 million trips from the domestic market with tourism revenue generation of 1.5 trillion Baht. In the first five months of the year, international arrivals numbered 1.23 million.
With the lifting of the Test & Go entry scheme from May 1, 2022, and a further easing of entry requirements into Thailand effective from 1 June, 2022, TAT is expecting 500,000 international arrivals to the kingdom each month from June to September. During the high season of October to December, that number is forecast to jump to 1 million international arrivals each month.
For 2023, the target tourism revenue is 2.4 trillion Baht and 3 trillion Baht in 2024.
Determined to reboot Thailand’s vital tourism industry, the Royal Thai Government announced the “Visit Thailand Year 2022-2023” campaign in which travellers the world over are being invited to experience the “Amazing New Chapters” of Thailand. The campaign highlights the abundance of tourism products and services on offer in Thailand, as well as its cultural diversity and richness – all of which are able to fulfil the desires of travellers from A to Z, as Thailand has it all.
Spearheading the “Visit Thailand Year 2022-2023” campaign, TAT is focusing on using “storytelling” marketing in order to enrich visitors’ tourism experience and self-value. NFT – or Nature to keep, Food to explore, and Thainess to discover – are the main highlighted products in the “Amazing New Chapters” communication efforts, while the feeling of Experience, Fun, and Love are what travellers will gain during their journeys in Thailand. A New TVC has been launched to present Thailand in a cinematic perspective.
The importance of sustainable and responsible tourism is at the forefront of Thailand’s tourism promotion and marketing.
Siripakorn said at the Thailand Product Update, “The pandemic gave us key learning lessons. What Thailand’s tourism industry needs to stay competitive and resilient in the long run is sustainability, in order to balance the economic, social, and environmental elements.”
As such, the Thai government’s Bio-Circular-Green or BCG Economy Model is being used to revive the tourism industry with the aim of safe, inclusive and sustainable travel. Conforming to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the BCG model is taking Thai tourism in a new direction, one that is in response to the changing global trends.
TAT meanwhile is making Thailand one of the world’s top remote workers-friendly destinations, in response to the growing trend in light of the COVID-19 pandemic of people working remotely while on vacation. With a long-stay visa a priority issue for digital nomads, Thailand is in the process of launching the Long-Term Resident (LTR) visa for four groups – wealthy foreigners, retirees, working foreigners, and specialists. There will be a one-time fee for an LTR visa of 50,000 Baht with a validity of 10 years.
Health and wellness is one of the key areas to focus. There is a broad spectrum of programmes to offer from fitness, anti-aging, holistic to traditional treatments by professional specialists with world-class facilities and global standard accreditation present wellness resorts in several destinations; such as, Samut Prakan, Phuket, and Samui.
Thailand is also continuing with its role as a top global destination for international events of various nature and size. As the APEC 2022 host, it is the venue for numerous APEC events throughout 2022, including the Eleventh APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting and Sixtieth APEC Tourism Working Group Meeting in Bangkok from 14-20 August – the first time it will host an APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting. Thailand will also push forward the APEC Policy Recommendations on Regenerative Tourism.
The MotoGP motorcycle race is set to return this 30 September-2 October at the Buriram International Circuit while Laguna Phuket Triathlon, Southeast Asia’s longest running and most successful triathlon event, will be held on 20 November, 2022.
From 15-18 November, 2022, TAT will host the TBEX Asia 2022 event for worldwide travel bloggers, content creators, and influencers in Phuket under the theme of “Diversity of the South: Phuket and Beyond”.
Siripakorn concluded, “Thailand is on the stage of fully reopening, and we are ready to welcome everyone around the world back to the kingdom once again. With the Visit Thailand Year 2022-2023, we would like to open our home country to present some of the kingdom’s many fascinating tourism experiences and hope all travellers will not miss out.”