More than a year and a half since the Covid-19 pandemic started, Thailand’s tourism industry is finding it tough to survive and is trying to move away from mass tourism to attract more quality visitors.
Thailand witnessedaround 40 million international visitors in 2019, and the number dropped only to 6.7 million in 2020.
For 2021, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) predicted that even in the best-case scenario, there will only be around 1-2 million foreign tourists visiting the country.
Many believe that this figure is still too optimistic considering the current vaccination rate and increasing number of daily cases in Thailand.
Focusing on high-end tourism always remains an ambitious target for Thailand. The authorities now believe that Thailand must use the pandemic as a catalyst for reviving the industry, as this is the only way for the sector to survive and steer through the crisis.
The Thai government’s tourism-revival strategy is to target big spenders looking for privacy and social distancing during their stays, especially during and post Covid-19 world, said the Thai Tourism Minister PhiphatRatchakitprakarn.He opined that the sector will try to attract high-end travelers, rather than a large number of visitors likebefore.
Phiphat said that quality travel will also help address problems that already existed before the pandemic, like over-crowding at beaches and temples and other environmental impacts. He said that it is important for Thailand to reset its entire tourism system.
Several industry experts and operators are also aiming to promote more specific tourism segmentations like medical and wellness, sports and food or ultra-luxury travel.