PATTAYA, Thailand – Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Deputy Governor for International Marketing Europe Africa Middle East and Americas, announced that the winter flight schedule has rebounded by over 80% compared to 2019. This percentage might see further growth, considering it does not encompass chartered planes that could be introduced during the winter season, like the Israel to Thailand flights which are currently operating at a consistent frequency, with indications of substantial increase during this winter.
The 2023 target for long-haul tourists is set at 8 million, with around 6 million having visited in the past 10 months, spanning from January 1 to October 22. There is confidence that the remaining two months will meet the predetermined targets for both the number of tourists and revenue.
This positive trend is attributed to measures exempting the stamping process for tourist travel or temporary visa exemptions (visa-free) for Chinese, Kazakhstani, Indian, Taiwanese and Russian tourists. These measures allow them to stay in Thailand for up to 30 days as a special case. The initiative, effective from September 25, 2023, to February 29, 2024, spanning 5 months, encourages longer-term stays. Many have chosen a full 30-day stay, in contrast to the previous practice of staying in Thailand for 14-15 days with a ‘visa on arrival’.
The average expenditure for long-haul tourists in early 2023 is around 48,000-50,000 baht per person per trip, with an average length of stay of approximately 18-19 days. Following the government’s announcement of visa-free measures, there has been an upswing in spending per person per trip. The American market spends an average of 76,297 baht per person per trip, marking a 27.14% increase from 2019. The European market spends an average of 71,718 baht per person per trip, showing a 24.66% increase from 2019. The Middle-Eastern market spends an average of 92,251 baht per person per trip, reflecting a 25.88% increase from 2019.