Positioned meticulously among the bustling environment of Suvarnabhumi airport, diligent immigration officers persistently invigilate. The year-round hum of activity paints an exciting backdrop to the transitions Thailand might be on the brink of introducing. The Thai government is deep in dialogue, contemplating waiving visa prerequisites for tourists hailing from an array of European countries. This enticing proposition is calculated to encourage holidaymakers to extend their stay and splurge more enthusiastically.
A significant affirmation from Prommin Lertsuridej, one of the prime minister’s crucial advisors, sheds light on the prompt echoing down from the Thai government. The discourse suggests a possibility of a strenuous 90-day stay for specific European tourists. The Thai allure will not stop there. Picture a magnificent array of roughly 3,000 diverse events, spanning music concerts, exhilarating marathons, and cultural festivities, meticulously organised throughout the year to captivate all kinds of tourists.
Srettha Thavisin, after stepping into the role of Prime Minister in August, was swift to pin down tourism as the golden ticket to expedite Thailand’s economic growth. His regimen quickly elevated the tourist experience. They momentarily abated visa rules for travellers from places like Russia, China, Kazakhstan, India, and Taiwan. This initiative whipped the airlines into servitude, demanding expansions of routes and ensuring a streamlined airport experience, consequently cutting down waits for avid tourists. The blueprint also encompasses an allowance for 4am closing in the nightlife venues situated in Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Chonburi zones, set to roll out from the next month.
Regardless of Thailand briskly retracting most tourism restrictions write post-Covid, each traveller’s average expenditure still lags behind thresholds set and estimated by officials. Peek into 2019, and you’ll find Thailand bustling with a record-breaking influx of almost 40 million foreigners generating a colossal revenue of 1.91 trillion baht. Delving into the specifics uncovers the average expenditure per tourist trip, reaching an impressive 47,895 baht lasting an average of nine days, evidenced by factual data. However, the almost 23.2 million tourists that embraced Thailand’s beauty until mid-November this year only contributed approximately 981.7 billion baht in receipts. Consequently, the country’s tourism earning is trailing roughly 12% behind the 2019 per-trip average.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is steely in their mission to catapult foreign tourism revenue back to its pre-pandemic glory, eagerly eyeing a target of 2 trillion baht ($57 billion) by 2024. Srettha kickstarted this renewal strategy by announcing the Winter Festival. This celebration is to incorporate the Loi Krathong festival, the exciting Bangkok Marathon, and globally beloved New Year’s celebration. The event is a brilliant strategic move to showcase Thailand’s unique cultural tapestry while simultaneously attracting tourists during the peak season spanning November to January.
Embedded into these plans is an intricate design strategy to make Thailand irresistibly attractive. As per Mr. Prommin, the Secretary-General to the premier, “We will design more attractions and promotions to incentivise tourists to stay longer. Longevity of stays, more dynamic events to entice tourists and a vibrant nightlife scene are essential elements of our strategy. This intricate design is precisely how we’re setting the stage for tourists to be compelled to expend more.”