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Thailand Targets 39 Million Tourists in 2024

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is aiming to boost tourism revenue to 3.5 trillion baht in 2024 by attracting 39 million international tourists. To achieve this goal, the TAT plans to increase its budget to support collaborations with airlines, develop new flight paths, and streamline tourist arrivals.

This “Airline Focus strategy” is deemed crucial in the post-COVID-19 era to revive Thailand’s tourism industry. TAT’s Deputy Governor, Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, emphasized the necessity of additional funding for joint ventures with airlines and other stakeholders. He anticipates that the recovery trend among airlines will peak from late 2024 to early 2025. To support this, the TAT plans to motivate airlines through joint performance targets to establish new flights to Thailand. Initial funding is essential for these collaborations, with the expectation that once profitable routes are established, airlines will continue operations independently, reducing the need for further financial support.

Despite previous budget constraints, the TAT has successfully fostered tourism growth through collaborations with private-sector partners and other agencies. For 2024, TAT aims for global travelers from long-distance markets, including Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas, to constitute 30% of all international tourists and 40% of total foreign tourism revenue.

The pandemic significantly altered travel patterns. In 2021, 77% of visitors to Thailand were from long-haul destinations, a sharp rise from 23% in 2019. This shift underscores the importance of focusing on diverse international markets to sustain tourism growth.

Looking ahead, Siripakorn announced plans for new flight schedules for the summer and winter of 2024. The number of scheduled flights to Thailand in summer 2024 is projected to increase by 28% compared to 2023, reflecting a strategic effort to accommodate and attract more tourists.

Various officials and industry leaders attended the announcement, underscoring the broad support for TAT’s ambitious plans to rejuvenate Thailand’s tourism sector.

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