Thailand has set a big objective of attracting 150,000 high-value Saudi Arabian tourists to the country in order to stir up tourism.
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, deputy governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) revealed that the improved diplomatic relations between Thailand and Saudi Arabia have greatly impacted the tourism industry in Thailand.
According to statistics from 2015 to 2023, there has been significant growth in the number of Saudi Arabian visitors to Thailand. In 2015, Thailand welcomed 25,153 Saudi Arabian tourists. In 2016, that number grew to 33,038, and in 2017 it grew even further to 42,610.
In 2018, the number decreased slightly to 35,090, but it increased again in 2019 to 36,783. In 2022, the number surged to 96,389, which is a remarkable increase, according to Siripakorn and has to do with improved relations between the two countries diplomatically.
Moreover, in the first three months of 2023, the number of Saudi Arabian tourists was already 21,388. Looking at this upward trend, Siripakorn said the TAT has set a target of attracting 150,000 Saudi Arabian tourists this year in the hope that the tourists will help pump as much as 120 billion baht into the Thai economy.
“Saudi Arabian tourists usually enter Thailand as couples. They also stay in luxury hotels and have high spending capacity, averaging around 100,000 baht per person on their short trips. This is an opportunity for Thailand to attract more of these high-value tourists,” Siripakorn stated.
Of all the Saudi Arabian tourists, 53% are first-time visitors, while 43% have visited Thailand before and returned for another visit, added Siripakorn.
Thailand has also been looking at expanding Islamic tourism in general, something that is important to many Saudi Arabian tourists. Pattaya, with its many natural attractions like islands and beaches as well as family attractions like water parks, gardens, and animal venues is a perfect fit for this type of tourism, says the Tourism Authority.Pattaya also has an expanding Muslim community and diverse amount of Halal food, notes The Pattaya News.