Thailand discourages discounts to attract tourists; to focus on high-value tourists
As per the latest news reports, Thailand has already witnessed 2 million visitors in the first half of the year, which indicates steady growth of its tourism industry after it almost collapsed due to the COVID pandemic. However, now Thailand’s hotels, private hospitals, and businesses have been asked to refrain from offering big discounts to attract tourists, and focus instead on raising the country’s value as a premium travel destination.
Referring to this, Thailand Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul while addressing an event at Bangkok’s main international airport to promote tourism stated, “We cannot let people come to Thailand and say because it’s cheap.” He further added, “Instead they should instead say that because it works, it’s reasonable’, that’s where we can increase value.
Thailand is one of Asia’s most popular tourist hotspots and had welcomed a record of nearly 40 million visitors in pre-pandemic 2019, who spent around USD 53.53 billion, equivalent to 11 percent of gross domestic product.
Reports added that arrivals slumped to 6.7 million the following year, which further went down to 428000 in 2021, despite calibrated moves to end quarantine requirements. Reportedly, it is expecting 10 million foreign arrivals in 2022.
Thailand launched a long-term visa programme earlier this year for wealthy foreigners and skilled workers, thereby sticking to its plan to attract high-spending visitors, despite major business suffering losses in tourism during the pandemic.