THE NATION THAILAND – Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) president Chamnan Srisawat said the tourism sector needs to welcome 12 million to 16 million foreign tourists to survive. This number, he pointed out, is 30 to 40 per cent of total visitors before the Covid pandemic or 40 million in 2019.
Chamnan said he was confident Thailand would see more than 12 million foreign tourists this year, while the government sector has a set a target of attracting 10 million.
The country saw only two million international arrivals in the first half but more than one million came in July, Chamnan noted, adding that he expected the number of tourists to shoot past the one-million mark both in August and September.
As for the high season from October to December, he expected more than two million foreigners to visit the country each month.
Chamnan said the tourism sector is waiting for a THB1.03 billion budget from the government in the form of a “booster shot” to help the industry recover.
Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said his ministry is requesting the government to provide THB2 billion baht, with one billion being used to stimulate the sector while another THB1 billion will be used to support sport tourism.
Pipat said Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told him he is waiting for the National Sports Development Fund manager to answer whether there is enough money to boost the tourism industry.
The tourism minister said he believed that budget is enough and is waiting for money which he hopes will be available from October 1.
As for the so-called “booster”, he said the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has sent a plan to the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council and is awaiting approval from the Centre for Economic Situation Administration.
The budget will be used to attract 10 million foreign visitors this year and boost the number of domestic trips to 160 million to generate THB1.2 trillion in income.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said 3,977,631 foreign tourists visited Thailand from January 1 to August 15, with the daily number of tourists being around 35,000 to 40,000 on average. He expected the figure to reach 4.5 million by August 31.