Thailand’s Tourism Authority aims to attract 10 million foreign tourists in 2022, with India as a leading focus

National –

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) aims to attract 10 million foreign tourists, mostly from ASEAN countries, in 2022 to revive global and domestic tourism industries.

Tourists from ASEAN countries have now become the main target group in Thailand as Chinese tourists, who have always been a major potential group for Thai tourism, had drastically declined as the Chinese government still insists on its “Zero Covid” policy, closing international borders and prohibiting its people from traveling overseas in tour groups, a popular way to travel. Long quarantines are required to return to China.

Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor for International Marketing Asia and South Pacific, said that TAT had set a goal for a number of tourists in the “short-term market” (mostly nearby countries who generally travel for short trips with short flight times) at around 5 million people. Of which, the biggest, at, 1.5 million, would be Indian tourists following the Cabinet’s approval of the ‘Thai-India Air Travel Bubble’. About 12 airlines had agreed to participate in the government campaign. According to TAT, it was estimated that the passenger load factor would be at a 70 percent average.

PHOTO: Thansettakij

The second group was Australian tourists which would be about 200,000 people. Currently, flights from Thai Airways and Qantas were available. Moreover, the  Australian authorities had adjusted their preventive measures, allowing arrivals to enter the country without mandatory quarantine. It had been reported that advance bookings for flights from Australia to Thailand during the Easter season in April this year had already reached 80 percent.

The third group was ASEAN tourists, accountable for 800,000 people, that TAT had already proposed cooperation with regional airlines. As of Wednesday, TAT and Thai Vietjet Airline had signed a letter of intent (LOI), effective for one year, to jointly plan marketing strategies and activities to promote tourism experiences in the ASEAN market in order to stimulate domestic travel in Thailand and increase potential tourists from Vietnam and Cambodia.

The strategies or “joint promotion” projects may include a package of a flight ticket to Thailand with free unlimited domestic flights in Thailand within one month for Vietnam tourists and a package of a flight ticket to Thailand with a free health check-up package to stimulate the medical tourism market among Cambodian tourists. The sales would start in March, targeting total sales of 20,000 packages.

PHOTO: Thansettakij

Moreover, TAT was preparing to cooperate with “Thai AirAsia” to aim for the ASEAN market following the return of international flights routes service from Thailand to Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore which would start in March as well as flights to Cambodia which had already started since the end of last year.

Tanes also stated that Thailand may earn more tourism income from Malaysian tourists after Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob paid a visit to Thailand and met Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha. The official meeting also discussed an agreement to launch a “Travel Bubble” to exchange tourists from both countries without mandatory quarantine, starting within March.

“Airlines were, therefore, playing a crucial role in driving our initial goal of attracting 1.5 million tourists from ASEAN, India, and Australia,” he added.

As for the remaining 3.5 million, the TAT aimed at the East Asian markets, especially Japan. The authorities would monitor the situation in Japan to see if there was an influx of tourists during the Golden Week from the end of April to the beginning of May or not after its government had announced that Japanese people returning to the country did not need mandatory quarantine.

As for China, the authorities hoped to see the Chinese government’s new stance in gradually opening up the country – starting from provinces that are able to control the outbreak, such as Yunnan, Guangdong, and Sichuan – and allowing its people to travel abroad in the middle of the year or the third quarter onwards. However, many in TAT have privately admitted it is unlikely China will be able to return in force until 2023.

Tanes concluded: “Currently, a quarantine for 14-21 days was implemented for all Chinese people who returned to the country. TAT hoped that in the second quarter, we could attract more Chinese tourists and the country would gradually relax its measures in some areas/provinces. The two-three week quarantine on their arrival home was the biggest single negative factor for Chinese tourists currently.”


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Nop Meechukhun
National News Writer at The Pattaya News from September 2020 to October, 2022. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.