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Thailand cuts arrivals target, rethinks attractions

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Plan to bring 1,000 travel buyers for major fam-trip

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has cut its arrivals target for this year by 2.6 million. It has also cut its tourism revenue forecast by 96 billion baht (US$2.9 billion). However, the authority’s governor, Thawatchai Arunyik, remained confident that tourism would bounce back.

“We are planning a number of special festivals and events to attract tourists,” he said, adding that TAT had arranged for a major international singer to perform in Thailand, is bringing 1,000 top travel buyers for a major fam-trip, and is pushing for a bigger marketing budget that would help it attract 25.9 million arrivals. Plans to develop an insurance fund for tourists are also underway.

TAT will also work with local specialist ground handlers to strengthen ties with China. He was unfazed by a group of 20 buyers pulling out of Thailand Travel Mart Plus at the last minute.

“I’m not too bothered by that,” he told TTG Asia. “We’ll be looking for higher quality buyers and also hold talks at a government-to-government level.”

DMCs say it is still too early to assess the damage to tourism caused by the political crisis.

Tobias Fischer, business development manager at Go Vacation Thailand: “Until there’s some sort of end in sight to the current situation, there’s no point in investing much in promotions or marketing. Also hotel promotions or discounts alone won’t work; they would need to be supported by promotions from airlines as well.”

TTG Asia

[pictured: Buddhist park, Phutthamonthon district, Nakhon Pathom Province; photo by Tevaprapas Makklay]

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