December 18, 2023
BANGKOK – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) wants to reduce dependency on any single market, while it is working on increasing the average spending of tourists.
As part of the efforts, the TAT aims to stimulate tourism in secondary cities.
TAT Governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool revealed that it has set the target for 2024 of generating total revenue of 3.5 trillion baht — 2.5 trillion baht from international tourists and 1 trillion baht from Thai tourists.
In 2024, TAT will focus on quality tourists, evenly distributing tourism, and advancing towards sustainable tourism. This will be done through collaboration with all sectors, placing importance on “creating valuable experiences” through soft power under the strategy of promoting tourism through products and services, she said.
In the domestic market, the TAT will encourage people to travel within Thailand more frequently and explore a greater variety of areas throughout the year with its campaign, “365 Days, Marvellous Thailand Every Day”, that aims to highlight the distinctiveness of each region.
Furthermore, the TAT would also focus on promoting secondary cities, necessitating a re-evaluation of urban planning because currently, in 55 provinces, some secondary cities have attracted more than 4 million tourists, turning them into primary cities.
“Additionally, the Thai Chamber of Commerce is working to elevate 10 secondary cities to primary city status, recognising their economic potential in terms of trade, investment, and tourism,” she said. “The TAT, in collaboration with the chamber of commerce, will be involved in selecting and promoting these 10 secondary cities as pioneers,” Thapanee added.
In the first 9 months of 2023, it was observed that in the secondary cities across 55 provinces, there were 73.32 million instances of Thai tourists travelling, reflecting a significant increase of 34.47%. This resulted in tourism-related income amounting to 169.608 billion baht, representing a notable surge of 38.86% compared to the same period in 2022.
With an average travel expenditure of approximately 2,313 baht per person per trip, marking a 3% increase, it is anticipated that the tourism income in secondary cities will see a growth of not less than 40% throughout the year 2023 compared to the entire year of 2022. Looking ahead to 2024, she said they expected 10-15% growth in tourism income year on year.
In the international market, TAT aims to promote tourism through five main strategies: enhancing sustainable brand image, exploring new quality markets, seeking new partnerships, expanding ground transportation connectivity and utilising digital content for marketing.
The TAT anticipates a resurgence of Chinese tourists in 2024, aiming to reclaim the title of the largest source market for Thai tourism. The target for Chinese tourist arrivals has been set at 8.2 million people, generating an income of 450 billion baht, she said. This is more than double the estimated 3.5 million Chinese tourists this year.
Despite the emphasis on the Chinese market, the TAT is actively managing risk by reducing dependency on any single market.
Moreover, the TAT places importance on diversifying and growing markets, with a focus on tourists from four key markets: Malaysia, India, Russia, and Taiwan.
Efforts will also be directed towards promoting growth in emerging markets, such as Saudi Arabia, countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, stimulating potential growth in markets like the United States, Kazakhstan, and Southeast Asian nations such as Vietnam and Laos.