A tourist takes a photo at the Grand Palais on November 1, the day it reopens to the public and officially reopens Thailand to fully vaccinated travelers from 63 countries without the need to quarantine. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Thai tourism is poised to restart in the post-pandemic era by targeting the quality market and new visitors from emerging destinations as well as the domestic market.

“With currently 2,000 to 3,000 tourists per day, the tourism industry has already passed the lowest point,” said Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

To kick-start sustainable growth, each tourism-related party must work together to attract more high-value travelers in various segments that prioritize the right experiences.

Mr Yuthasak said post-Covid tourism presents an opportunity for first-time visitors such as those from India. Thailand could capture a small part of the market compared to its large size.

He said the agency would also maintain the goal of maintaining one-third of total domestic market revenues, increasing the number of local trips, as people tend to spend less on travel but travel more often during the economic downturn. .

Preecha Champi, board member of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (Atta), said Thailand tourism is expected to go beyond India’s 1.4 billion people as there are many many Indian communities around the world. Together with the inhabitants of South Asia, it is estimated that they make up over 24% of the world’s population.

This market has different segments, such as the more than 600 million younger generations, families, weddings or even Bollywood productions, so competitors like Japan, South Korea and Vietnam are also eyeing Indian tourists.

“Indians perceive Thailand as the preferred destination of Thais in relation to Japan,” said Mr. Preecha.

However, he said food is a major barrier as some Indian tourists opt for other destinations such as Bali, Maldives and Mauritius, which may offer catering services that meet their demands.

Speaking at the Food & Hotel Thailand (FHT) X Thailand Sourcing Festival webinar, Suthisart Tiyavuthirojanakul, senior director of strategic partnerships at Agoda, said tourism in Asia has started to recover.

According to Agoda Performance data as of November 2, Europe ranked first in terms of the highest recovery rate, followed by North America, the Middle East and Asia.

He said his third-quarter survey showed positive sentiment for travel to Thailand, with 61% of those surveyed expecting to travel to the country within six months, led by Gen X.

Additionally, We Travel Together – a hotel subsidy program – also highlighted changes in tourism behavior as more Thais visited emerging destinations such as Khao Lak, Nakhon Nayok, Sukhothai, Nan and Phetchaburi.

Kanchanaburi replaced Chiang Rai because it was among the first 10 provinces to benefit from the recovery plan.

Mr Suthisart said the first phase of the stimulus package helped create 73,176 jobs nationwide, contributing 0.4% of GDP in 2020.

REIMBURSED REQUEST

Arindam Das, business development manager at Google Asia-Pacific, said there is pent-up demand in the tourism industry as people now think about spending their time on vacation and using the excess savings for future trips to the aftermath of the pandemic.

During the pandemic, he said, the travel model has focused more on domestic travel and the trend will accelerate depending on vaccination rates, which have created greater confidence among people in travel. .

Mr. Das said Google provides relevant, accurate and timely information to users to help them make travel decisions.

From January to July 2020, the number of hotel and flight requests in North America and Europe increased, followed by Asia-Pacific.

Based on Google’s global internal data (2019 vs 2020), although travel was put on hold, people still dreamed of traveling with an interest in islands and camping increasing by 6% and 49% respectively.

Interest in nearby destinations increased 26%, while staycations increased 121%.

During this time, virtual tours increased by 235% and interest in travel blogging increased by 34%.

According to Das, Google offers free online tools for hotels through Google My Business, including managing hotel information, posts and guest interaction.

Using Google’s free booking links, hotels can display their booking sites when users search for hotels with real-time prices and availability.

This feature can help generate bookings and reach potential customers, he said.

“Travelers can choose from more options through price benchmarking. Advertisers can also have an easy way to create advertising campaigns in addition to room availability and pricing information, ”said Mr. Das.