There are no signs of a decrease in international arrivals to Thailand, despite the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant in several countries, at least according to Thailand’s Tourism Authority. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects a target of 500,000 tourists to enter the Kingdom by the end of the year.
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said yesterday, November 30th, that there was no sign of a slowdown in the trend of foreign arrivals so far, except for some slight slowdown in European countries where the spread of Omicron had occurred.
According to the record, 93,573 foreign travelers entered Thailand since the first day of the reopening on November 1st. Despite the number being far short of the previous target, TAT expects that the total arrival would reach 500,000 tourists by the end of the year.
TPN media, notes, however, that this goal seems quite ambitious by almost any standard with only 30 days left in the year and concerns around the variant (or rather, potential travel restrictions or cancelations that may be activated) still in place in many parts of the world. For Thailand to hit this goal, they would need to hit between 16,000 to 17,000 tourists(or travelers, as many arriving are not tourists per se, but residents or Thai nationals traveling to and from different countries) a day, versus roughly 3,000-4,000 tourists a day in November.
The Governor stated: “More than 300,000 foreign tourists have applied for the ‘Thailand Pass’. In November alone, there were almost 100,000 tourists entering Thailand. It is expected that, throughout this year, more than 500,000 tourists would be recorded entering Thailand.”
Meanwhile, Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi of the Thai Hotels Association (THA) expressed concern that the spread of the Omicron variant in some European countries may impact the tourism sector as European tourists are the main market for Thailand currently due to travel restrictions and quarantines in normally lucrative markets like China.
She stressed: “The situation in the near future is difficult to assess despite the fact that the initial impacts may be low. If the government implements some more measures for arrivals, it may cause a tourism delay. However, we really hope that some harsh measures like lockdowns will not be imposed on the country again, as it would cause further devastation to the hotel and tourism industry that have already had almost two years of serious disruption.”
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