The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is planning to attract 25.8 million tourists from short-haul countries next year, 2024.
TAT deputy governor Thanet Petchsuwan said TAT is targeting tourists from the Asian and South Pacific markets aka the short-haul markets.
The goal of attracting 25.8 million tourists from these markets was set during the recent meeting of TAT. This number represents 74% of the overall next year target of 35 million international tourists. The objective is to generate revenue of 1.2 trillion baht, which accounts for 63% of the total foreign market revenue target of 1.92 trillion baht.
The target is divided among tourists from Eastern Asia (12.48 million), ASEAN countries (10.51 million), South Asia (2.1 million), and Oceania (787,000).
Thanet stated that the hardest challenge is the Chinese market. Although there has been some relief in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand in 2023, it is still not certain that the number will reach the expected target of 5 million tourists as in the first six months of this year, Thailand saw only 1.44 million arrivals from China.
Meanwhile, Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT deputy governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas, stated that TAT has set a target of attracting 9.2 million tourists from long-haul markets such as Europe and the United States.
This accounts for 26% of the total international tourist-target. However, in terms of revenue generation, the long-haul markets are expected to contribute 37%, equivalent to 721 billion baht, to overall revenue.
This is because tourists from Europe and the United States tend to have longer average stays compared to short-haul markets, resulting in higher average expenses. Recent data from the first three months of this year indicates that European tourists have an average stay of 19 days, with an average expenditure of 71,718 baht per trip.
Central and South American markets have an average stay of 16.17 days, with an average expenditure of 99,172 baht per trip. As for the American market, the average stay is 15.26 days, with an average expenditure of 76,297 baht per trip.
Siripakorn added that the trend in the long-haul market in 2023 exceeded the TAT target, which was 7 million tourists, and reached 8 million tourists. The standout market in this regard was Russia. Although the target for Russian tourists for the entire year was set at 1 million, within the first six months, there were already 789,000 Russian tourists visiting Thailand. Therefore, in 2024 the TAT will need to expand the growth of the Russian market to double the current number, as Russia is now considered a market with great potential, Siripakorn stated.