The public and private sectors are being urged to work together to prepare for uncertainty in the tourism industry next year, which may pose hurdles for Thailand’s ability to maintain its competitive edge.
Bhumikitti Ruktaengam, advisory chairman of the Phuket Tourist Association, stated that more integration is needed between the public and private sectors, especially regarding tourism policies. The cooperation will be crucial as the Thai tourism industry braces for uncertainties and increased competition in 2023.
Bhumikitti said domestic factors such as political tension for the upcoming general election next year would pose concerns for tourists visiting the country. Soaring energy prices and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis are affecting tourist expenditures and making it harder for authorities to raise expenditures per trip. Another source of uncertainty is the mass demonstrations against the Covid-19 curb in China, which create ambiguity in travel regulations and may impact the number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand in the future.
The advisory chairman warned that increased competition is a challenge for the Thai tourism industry, noting that some tourist groups have already switched their winter destinations from Thailand to neighboring countries. He emphasized that the country may lose more tourists to competitors unless cooperation and new methods are implemented to retain its competitiveness.
Meanwhile, Krod Rojanastien, president of the Thai Spa Association, suggested that Thailand focus on potential tourism products the country already has, which could tap high-spending travelers. He believes the country has strong potential in the health and wellness sector and urged the government to strengthen education programs related to these services to address the crucial problem of personnel shortages. (NNT)