BANGKOK, March 24 (Reuters): Thailand expects there to be about six million foreign tourist arrivals in the first quarter of the year as the vital tourism sector gathered momentum, a government official has confirmed.
The Southeast Asian country is forecasting between 25 million to 30 million foreign tourists this year, with spending of 1.5 trillion baht ($44 billion), government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri said in a statement.
In another development, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn recently said Thailand’s presence at the world’s largest tourism trade fair, is focused on creating awareness of the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2023: Amazing New Chapters’ campaign, and the kingdom’s direction towards more sustainable and responsible tourism, Bernama reported.
“TAT is currently developing the Sustainable Tourism Goals (STGs) in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, which will help drive the entire Thai tourism industry to put sustainability into practices.
“There will be a STAR (Sustainable Tourism Acceleration Rating) system that certifies tourist businesses in the area of tourism sustainability. Businesses that are able to comply with a number of goals will attain a corresponding amount of stars,” he said in a statement.
This year, TAT is eyeing to welcome about 5.8 million tourists from Europe and generate 406.42 billion baht in tourism revenue.
The Thailand Stand at ITB Berlin 2023 – the 56th edition of the show, and the first in-person staging of the event since the pandemic is promoting the leveraging of Thailand’s 5Fs soft-power foundations – Food, Film, Fashion, Festival, and Fight.
The Thai delegation to the show led by the TAT comprises 70 tourism sellers from Thailand, predominantly hotels and resorts, with one health provider – Bumrungrad Hospital.
The majority of sellers (47 per cent) are from the South, reflecting the preference in the European market for beach holidays, while 35 per cent are from Bangkok, 11 per cent from the Central region, and 7 per cent from the East, which is an emerging island destination for the German market.
Thailand is targeting between 25 and 30 million foreign tourists to visit the kingdom this year as tourism sector is seeing a quick rebound.
Statistics showed that Thailand welcomed 4.2 million foreign travellers in January and February this year.
Thailand, one of Asia’s most popular travel destinations, was visited by nearly 40 million people in 2019.