The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is preparing to spend an additional 1.9 billion baht to increase airline seat capacity, aiming to connect big cities that still have potential to spend amid the downturn.
The cabinet on Tuesday allocated an additional budget of 3.9 billion baht for tourism promotional campaigns, of which 1.93 billion is for marketing to help revive the economy.
Tourism last year generated around 1 trillion baht, lower than the target of 1.3 trillion, as the economy slowly recovered from the impact of the pandemic, high inflation and household debt, while facing intense competition from other countries to lure more tourists, according to the TAT.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said with the extra budget from the cabinet and China’s reopening, the tourism revenue target this year needs to be upgraded from 2.38 trillion baht.
The agency will reassess the outlook in line with economic and political factors before deciding on a new target for 2023, he said.
The long-awaited stimulus budget of 1.93 billion baht, which the TAT submitted in June last year, is for both international and domestic programmes with a focus on solving major obstacles for tourists, particularly insufficient seat capacity.
Mr Yuthasak said marketing campaigns for the long-haul market will follow the “ABC strategy” — which stands for airline focus, big cities and beyond — and collaboration with agents.
Partnerships with airlines will see more chartered flights added in markets with potential to grow and light traffic, such as Canada, Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, he said.
Mr Yuthasak said the TAT will also target countries that have potential to stimulate spending in both big cities and secondary cities by organising roadshows in France, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
The agency also wants to help operators in the private sector expand the international market by taking them on overseas familiarisation trips and trade meetings to collaborate with potential offline and online agents, launching tour packages for sale.
For short-haul markets without a severe flight shortage, the TAT will focus on maintaining a high load factor on flights and increasing traffic during the off-peak season, he said.
Mr Yuthasak said the agency plans to hold a “Mega Fam” trip, trade show and roadshow to draw visitors through high-spending tourism trends such as luxury, sports, health and wellness, and responsible tourism.
Target markets include China, Mongolia, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Australia.
He said the “We Travel Together” hotel subsidy campaign, which also received 2 billion baht from the cabinet this week, might have to wait for Krungthai Bank to prepare the system.
It may be ready for registration in February, with a travel period lasting until September, said Mr Yuthasak.