Tourism Authority of Thailand’s newly appointed governor, Thapanee Kiatpaiboon, faces the uphill task of steering the country’s tourism sector post-pandemic. She aims to shift focus from international tourism to domestic travel and lesser-known destinations.
This shift comes amidst a substantial 40% decline in tourism revenues compared to 2019, primarily due to reduced interest from Chinese tourists and a lack of enthusiasm from Western visitors. With revised projections indicating a continued downturn in foreign visitor numbers and spending in 2023, Kiatpaiboon aims to position domestic tourism to contribute significantly, targeting 40% of the country’s tourism income by 2027, while seeking to grow the sector to 27% of GDP.
Thailand’s tourism industry, grappling with a significant revenue drop and a shift in traveler preferences, is undergoing a reevaluation to revitalize its appeal.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand forecasts a revenue of 1.2 trillion baht this year, a staggering 39.39% decline from 2019 figures. Despite this, the goal of 28 million arrivals in 2023 is seen as a positive step, albeit challenging, according to analysts based in Bangkok.