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Tourism may see a decline next year

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From The Thaiger

Despite conflicting optimistic predictions, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is warning that Thai tourism may take a sharp downturn next year. While international travellers are flocking to Thailand now, industry experts fear that it may be a flood of pent-up demand and, by next year, all those who waited through the whole pandemic to get to Thailand will have already booked and taken their trips.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn explained that, for nearly three years, people could not travel and take holidays due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. Once Thailand began reopening, many overly-eager people raced to enter the country. And since all the restrictions were lifted last month, many people who have been waiting impatiently booked their trips to come during this High Season.

But, the TAT governor fears that all those people will finish their travel by March and tourism in Thailand will see a big dip as factors level out. The reality of global recession, extreme inflation, and the high prices of plane tickets and travel costs will set in and cause potential travellers to delay or cancel their holidays.

Still, authorities in Thailand remain hopeful that tourism revenue will continue to increase next year. Original forecasts expected 1.5 trillion baht in tourist spending this year, though that number has now been reduced to 1.3 trillion. The average foreigner is spending about 60,000 baht per trip to Thailand.

The TAT believe that number could be pushed up to about 77,000 baht with various government incentives, especially offering longer stays. Countries or territories that are eligible for visa exemption to Thailand are currently receiving a 45-day stamp instead of 30 days. That longer stay programme is scheduled to run until March of 2023. Phuket has already reported statistics showing that European travellers are booking longer stays, likely because of this 45-day stamp.


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What a ridiculous article! On the one hand "Thai tourism may take a sharp downturn next year", yet later it claims "authorities in Thailand remain hopeful that tourism revenue will continue to increase next year." 

I accept that tourist numbers and tourism receipts are not the same. But the artucle is full of "could", "fears", "believe" etc. In other words, no one has a clue. I'd certainly like to see statistics of European travellers spending longer in Phuket because of the 45-day stamp. Presumably these are backpackers or retirees since most working people do not have much more than 30 -day annual vacations, if that.

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17 minutes ago, PeterRS said:

What a ridiculous article!

Agree... I don't think that anyone can accurately predict what will happen next year with Thai tourism.  A lot depends on when the tourists from China return, of course.  So, all we get from Thaiger is a click-bait title & a lot of vague speculation.

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Is it being suggested that our experiences in Thailand are so bad that we won't return? Not in my case, anyway. I'm now just ending my second trip since the re-opening, with a third one only fourteen weeks away.

Prices are still good-in particular restaurants and hotels- at least the Bkk, Chiang Mai and Pattaya ones we've been in- and, as far as concerned, no suggestion of a hike in prices.

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14 hours ago, macaroni21 said:

We should not see ourselves as representative. Our kind of travelling, to put it bluntly, is to feed an 'addiction' so naturally, we travel repeatedly and frequently. For most others, Thailand is not worth visiting for more than once in 3, 4 or 5 years. 

So, the fear, as expressed in the cited article, that once the pent-up demand is satiated, there will be a 'refractory period' ( to borrow an analogy we are familiar with) before enough demand builds up to visit Thailand again is quite plausible.

Yet, it is also fair to say much depends on China's policies, depth of recession, etc.

The ultimate factor in Thailand's tourism number for 2023 is definitely China's COVID policy. They have been the biggest group of tourists in Thailand for years, so that pent-up demand will be 2-3 bigger than it was for Westerners wanting to go back to Thailand. If , as some are saying, China will relax travel rules in March, get prepared for some of the most expensive hotel rates during Songran and even during the so-called low season.

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Macaroni21 makes reasonable points but our experiences in Pattaya, Chiang Mai and (briefly) Bangkok weren't different to those of  non-gay tourists. We visited temples in and around Chiang Mai and the beaches and numerous restaurants in Jomtien and Pattaya, staying at hotels which were not specifically "gay".

And no bars of any kind, by the way. 

And yes, China is the key. The booming Indian market cannot replace it  and replicate its spending power.

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1 hour ago, PeterRS said:

Perhaps ironically the World Cup has made the situation worse. Although China did not qualify, the Chinese as a nation are soccer mad. Nighly on their TV screens they see tens of thousands in stadia with no masks and no social distancing. Many will be asking why this is not possible in China.


very good point

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