Thailand: Tourism Ministry to seek cabinet nod for new stimulus deal

  • The Tourism and Sports Ministry plans to seek economic cabinet approval for a new tourism stimulus package including multiple-entry visas for Chinese tourists, reduced landing fees for airlines and increased airport slot times.
  • Multiple-entry visas should increase tourism from short-haul destinations in the mainland. Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said this measure should be implemented as soon as possible to welcome Chinese visitors especially during the Lunar New Year.
  • In 2019, Mr Phiphat expects the number of tourist arrivals to reach 40.2 million, outpacing the goal of 39.8 million, but tourism revenue may fall short of the target of THB2.04tr because of the global economic slowdown and solid THB denting tourist spending.
  • The ministry reported 32.5 million tourist arrivals during the Jan-Oct 19 19, up 4.3% y/y, generating THB1.58tr, up 4% y/y.
  • Chinese arrivals in Jan-Oct 19 stood at 9.34 million, up 3.6% y/y, generating THB467bn in tourism income, up 5.5%.
  • The number of Chinese tourists in 2019 should reach the target of 11 million, generating THB730bn. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects that Thailand will receive 12 million Chinese arrivals in 2020, regardless of the THB’s appreciation which affects tourist spending.
  • TAT offices in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Kunming and Shanghai are working with local partners like Spring Airlines, Alibaba and Ctrip to increase visitors to Thailand.
  • The target groups are Chinese millennials and first-time workers, who account for about half of the overall Chinese population. They are able to travel easily and freely and plan trips using smartphones. Independent tourists contribute 60% of Chinese visitors, while the balance are those travelling in groups.

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