Thailand's New Year tourism revenue soars

By VNA   January 1, 2024 | 08:29 pm PT
Thailand's New Year tourism revenue soars
Fireworks along the Chao Phraya River during New Year's Eve celebrations in Bangkok, Thailand, 2024. Photo by AFP
Thailand's tourism revenue surged by 44% during the New Year holiday thanks to a visa-free scheme and extended operating hours of entertainment places, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

TAT Governor Thapanee Kiatphaiboon said that from Dec. 22 to Jan. 1 the country generated 54.4 billion baht (US$1.58 billion) in tourism-related revenue, up 44% from the same period last year.

Thapanee estimated revenue from 1.1 million visitors during the period at 41.7 billion baht, 60% higher year-on-year.

She said the increase resulted partly from the government's visa-free scheme for visitors from mainland China, India, Kazakhstan, Russia and Taiwan and permission for entertainment places to open until 4 a.m. in the tourist provinces of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Phuket and Surat Thani (Koh Samui).

Thais made 3.76 million domestic trips during the period. They spent about 12.7 billion baht, up by 11% from a year earlier, the TAT Governor said.

According to Thapanee, the TAT and partners organized New Year celebration events in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phuket, Roi Et, Songkhla and Suphan Buri.

The provinces welcomed 1.11 million domestic visitors altogether, up by 11%, and revenue from the events amounted to 4.7 billion baht, up by 14%.

The average hotel occupancy rate was 82% and Bangkok was the most popular destination, followed by Nakhon Ratchasima and Chiang Mai, Thapanee said.

The Thai government is aiming to generate 3.5 trillion baht for the economy through the tourism industry this year, as it plans to promote the country as a year-round tourism destination.

Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said that in 2023, Thailand welcomed more than 27 million foreign visitors, with Malaysians forming the biggest group, followed by those from China.

As the government is targeting 3.5 trillion THB in tourism revenues this year, authorities are rolling out a campaign to promote Thailand as a destination that can be visited throughout the year.

The campaign will see lesser-known tourist destinations promoted alongside those which are already well-known among tourists, he said.

The government expects revenue of 1 trillion baht from domestic tourists and 2.5 trillion baht from foreign visitors, he said.

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