Pattaya tourism outlook hazy as Indian tourists influx on the rise

Sanphet Suphabuansathien, President of the Thai Hotel Association (Eastern Chapter) is concerned about national stability and high airfares which are deterrents to tourists’ travel plans.

With the high season fast approaching, Sanphet Suphabuansathien, President of the Thai Hotel Association (Eastern Chapter), has voiced concerns over national stability and the critical issue of high airfares and seats availability. These uncertainties are impacting traveler decisions and adding complexity to preparations for the upcoming high season.

Sanphet emphasized, “To welcome visitors to Thailand and Pattaya, it is crucial that we demonstrate our readiness, particularly in terms of safety. We are well aware of the need to build confidence among both international tourists and Thai nationals.”

Yet, uncertainties remain, primarily due to the scarcity of dependable flight options. Sanphet highlighted that airlines operating below full capacity are causing challenges during price negotiations. Potential tourists often cite high airfare rates as a deterrent to their travel plans. Consequently, the outlook for hotel bookings during the high season remains unclear.

The hotel industry eagerly anticipates support from the new government, which emphasizes stimulating the economy through tourism and services. This approach is considered essential for generating substantial revenue for the country. The industry is seeking comprehensive policies and proactive promotions to enhance Thailand’s global competitiveness.

Somsong Sachaphimukh, Deputy Chairman of the Tourism Industry Council of Thailand, underscored the need to cater to the preferences of Indian tourists, particularly in terms of food and entertainment. Swift adaptation is crucial to prevent these tourists from choosing alternative destinations.

As India emerges as a potent force in Asian tourism, Thailand is witnessing a significant influx of Indian travelers. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) projects around 1.6 million Indian visitors in 2023. Chai Eamsiri, CEO of Thai Airways, highlighted the Indian market’s strength. Presently, Thai Airways operates 70 weekly flights to India, in contrast to 14 flights to China. This reduction is a result of COVID-19 challenges. With Thailand’s narrow-bodied fleet poised to expand in the coming decade, future operations might pivot more towards India.

Thailand is witnessing a significant influx of Indian travelers with projections of more than 1.6 million visitors from the sub-continent this year.