Travel And Tour WorldTravel And Tour World
Travel And Tour World: Thailand has decided to lift the mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for travelers entering the country from May 1 to revive the travel and tourism industry after the woes of the pandemic.
What are the necessary measures taken by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to make travel safe and secure in the country, and how does the Thailand Pass and medical insurance coverage work for tourists arriving in the country?
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot: As of May 1, 2022, Thailand has relaxed its entry measures allowing vaccinated travelers to enter the country without having to undergo quarantine and testing upon arrival. To ensure a safe trip to Thailand, TAT advises tourists to follow safety and hygiene measures; for example, wearing face masks at all times, regularly cleaning your hands with sanitizer, and taking a self-ATK test when showing symptoms of COVID-19. Although it is not compulsory to stay and use a SHA Plus establishment, TAT encourages visitors to stay in the certified establishment, as they are assured of meeting the necessary safety and hygiene standards.
Travel And Tour World: The easing of travel restrictions is expected to boost the arrival of tourists worldwide. What are the expectations for the current tourist season of 2022 regarding the revival of the tourism and MICE industry (in terms of international airline bookings/domestic travel/foreign tourist arrivals/tourism expenditure/hotel nights and tourism revenue )?
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot: In 2022, tourism in Thailand is expected to generate around 1.3–1.8 trillion Thai baht in total, from around 7–10 million international tourists and 160 million trips from the domestic market. TAT is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and the global and domestic economy, which may impact the tourism industry.
From our target of attracting around 5-15 million international tourists in 2022, we found that in the first three months of this year, 444,039 international tourists came to Thailand, generating 34,173 million baht Thai tourism revenue. Since lifting the Test & Go entry program from May 1, TAT has set itself the target of 300,000 international arrivals each month from May to September. As October-December 2022 is peak season for Thailand, TAT expects to see approximately 1 million international arrivals each month.
Travel And Tour World: Which countries is Thailand currently focusing on to attract more international tourists? How does air connectivity play a role in increasing the number of international tourists to the country, and how have you obtained sufficient air services and frequencies from international metropolitan cities?
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot: Our overseas offices work tirelessly with our allies around the world to bring travelers back to Thailand. For the short-haul market, TAT focuses on specific markets: India, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Europe, Middle East, Americas and South Korea. These countries have direct commercial flights to Thailand, and do not require travelers to test for COVID-19 before traveling and no quarantine is required for vaccinated travelers. The private sector has also shown interest in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Travel and world tour: Thailand received more than two million visitors from India and China before the pandemic, which helped the Thai kingdom generate more than $2.5 billion in revenue from the travel and tourism sector. What are the expectations for this year’s tourist season regarding the arrival of Indian tourists?
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot: In 2022, we aim to welcome 500,000 arrivals from the Indian market, generating 2.4 billion Thai baht in revenue. In March, about 18,000 Indian tourists visited Thailand. Thus, we are trying to push arrivals up to 80,000 arrivals in May. In the third quarter of this year, more Indian tourists will start traveling to Thailand as international flights resume between Indian cities and major Thai destinations.
Travel And Tour World: Thailand has reopened its borders, so there is a need to support tourism activity as well as GDP growth, which has been lower than its regional peers. So what are the marketing strategies; such as tourism-related campaigns, promotional events, etc. that the Tourism Authority of Thailand has organized to promote the country’s tourist destinations?
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot: The year 2022 is marked as a new chapter for Thailand, as we celebrate the “Visit Thailand Year 2022” where throughout the year we will invite travelers from all over the world to experience the “Amazing New Chapters” of Thailand. As such, our key messages will highlight the abundance of tourist products and services in Thailand that will satisfy all your travel desires because from A to Z, Thailand has it all. To find out more click here.
Travel And Tour World: Which regions of Thailand do you want to project to international travelers for unforgettable experiences?
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot: I would say that we aim to promote all regions of Thailand to travelers because we believe that each region can make your trip more memorable due to its uniqueness. It depends on the type of experiences you are looking for. If you like islands, southern Thailand will offer you an unparalleled beach vacation. Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani and KhonKaen are the main attractions. But, if the culture and the green landscapes fascinate you more, the destinations of the North; such as Chiang Mai and its surroundings will surely be the answer.
Travel And Tour World: On June 22 last year, the Thai government approved the “Sandbox” program which allowed domestic and international travelers to enter Thailand without quarantine. How has the “Sandbox” program increased the arrival of tourists and do you plan to change this sandbox system so that travelers can travel safely?
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot: Thailand launched the Sandbox program in Phuket and Samui in July 2021, to allow international arrivals to enter Thailand without having to undergo quarantine, and travelers were free to travel to the island for seven days before departing. move to another part of the country. The Sandbox initiative was the first step in welcoming international visitors back during the pandemic with the aim of attracting international visitors who felt trapped in quarantine and were looking for a chance to travel abroad.
After the success of the Phuket and Samui+ Sandbox program, the government has extended the program to other destinations in Thailand such as Krabi, Phang-Nga, Chiang Mai and Pattaya. The program also paved the way for the Test&Go, quarantine-free entry program, which launched in November 2021.
He has played an important role in reviving the country’s national and local economy, especially in tourist destinations like Phuket. In 2021, Thailand welcomed 427,869 international arrivals.