The massive tourist flow to Thailand next year may decline sharply – such a pessimistic warning was voiced by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). There is a risk that the current surge is the result of pent-up demand for almost three years of the pandemic, but by next year it will “naturally” decline. However, while Thailand has to cope not with a recession, but with an “extreme” rise – including at the expense of Russian tourists.
“For almost three years, people have not been able to travel and vacation due to restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since all restrictions were lifted last month, many people who were looking forward to the opening of the destination have booked their trips for this high season,” said Yutasak Supasorn, head of the TAT. However, as the head of the TAT added, this surge will end by March – and then there is a risk that tourism in Thailand will fall sharply. New applicants will be heavily influenced by negative factors such as inflation records and high airfare.
However, the Thai authorities remain hopeful that tourism revenues will continue to rise next year. Initial forecasts suggested that tourism spending this year would be 1.5 trillion baht, although this figure has now been reduced to 1.3 trillion. The average foreigner spends about 60,000 baht (about 103.5 thousand rubles) for a trip to Thailand.
Also, the forecast for 2022 was that the country will receive 10 million tourists by the end of the year, but the country seems to reached by the beginning of December. This figure is expected to double next year. Thailand hopes for the opening of China, where another “pent-up demand” can come from – and for the Russians, who, with the opening of direct flights, flew en masse to the country.
Recall that earlier Thai media reported that Thai tour operators were unprepared for the sudden influx of Russian tourists to Phuket, which literally swept the island. This happened after Russia resumed direct flights at the end of October, followed by charter flights in November. According to Phuket Express, in the first 10 days of November, Russian tourists made up the largest group of tourists in Phuket: 18'370 out of 75'247 international arrivals.
The statement that Thailand was not ready for such a massive demand, Sisdivachr Chivarattanaporn, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, said. What exactly was expressed by “unpreparedness”, however, is unclear. At the same time, about 24 thousand Russian tourists arrived in Phuket in January, and then decreased to 2.4-3.4 thousand per month, primarily due to air sanctions. Read more at this link.
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