“Thailand's tourism recovery is under threat due to the staggeringly high cost of flying to the kingdom from Europe and America” - such a chilling statement published by local media. Thai travel agencies claim that the rise in air travel is the main reason why package tours in Europe are skyrocketing in price – and they are already costing twice as much as in pre-Covid times. Under such conditions, experts say, one can only count on the luxury market of tourists or local tourism from neighboring countries, and one can forget about mass tourists from Europe.
N.B. At the same time, the day before, Turprom wrote that Aeroflot was launching direct flights to Thailand and the Maldives: the schedule and prices were announced – details here.
“Tour packages are skyrocketing in price, largely as a result of expensive airfare driven by higher global fuel costs and higher operating costs. Long-haul flights, such as flights from the US and Europe, are the hardest hit by high fuel costs as well as labor shortages,” Thai experts say. They give the following example – tour packages for the Scandinavian countries start from 150-170 thousand Thai baht ($4 – 4.6 thousand). According to their estimates, this is twice as much as in pre-Covid 2019 and only 3% of potential tourists can afford it.
Similarly, “some” airfare prices have doubled by 2019. “Travel agents collecting tour packages are seeing an increase in operating costs across the board. Therefore, they have to shift to the “luxury” market, where tourists can afford a sharp increase in travel prices. But not everyone can offer individual high-quality packages and exclusive travel options,” Thai experts say.
The second way to save tourism is to rely on the regional sector, or closely located countries – they have risen in price by an average of 1000-2000 baht for a tourist. “Southeast Asia travel packages are about 8 times cheaper than Scandinavian packages at an average of 20,000 baht,” experts say. We are talking about short distance tourism to Thailand from neighboring countries such as Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia where travel may still be available. In theory, the Russian Primorye could also become such a “regional” – if Thailand, of course, manages to launch flights there.
At the moment, the Thai media also note, only about 50% of the flights that previously departed for Thailand have been restored and from Thailand. Moreover, the frequency of these flights is still below 30%.
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