Thailand urged to upgrade regional airports to boost tourism revenue

By VNA   June 12, 2024 | 06:43 pm PT
Thailand urged to upgrade regional airports to boost tourism revenue
Foreign tourists walk with their luggage in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 1, 2021. Photo by Reuters
The Airlines Association of Thailand (AAT) has called on the government to upgrade more regional airports to international airports, aiming to generate higher tourism revenue for 55 second-tier cities, reported local media.

During the "Ignite Tourism Thailand" event chaired by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on June 11, AAT President Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth said authorities should develop more regional airports, enabling them to accommodate international flights, which could help attract tourists to nearby provinces.

To offset air travel expenditure, he said, airlines proposed the government include expenses for airfare to second-tier cities in the recent tax deduction measures, which the PM agreed to consider.

Airlines also want the government to announce visa-free policies 2-3 months in advance of their implementation to allow tourists more time to plan and book their flights, he continued.

Previous visa-free announcements provided too little time, making tourists more reluctant to book trips to Thailand, according to Puttipong.

Most airlines would like the government to increase air service agreements with the Indian government, as the additional 7,000 seats per week already agreed to is insufficient for all airlines in Thailand.

President of the Thai Hotels Association Thienprasit Chaiyapatranun said hoteliers want the government to consider launching a subsidy similar to the previous "We Travel Together" scheme focused exclusively on retirees, who have both the time and budget to spend on travel during weekdays.

During the meeting with 55 provincial governors, PM Srettha said all provinces must improve their infrastructure to cater to growing tourism demand, such as transport and other tourism facilities.

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