panorama destination

panorama destination

Thailand Prepares for Full Tourism Recovery
03 June 2024 | Written by Chris Alexander

Summer season is just around the corner, and Thailand continues to be one of the hottest destinations for travellers in 2024. In May, a report from the Mastercard Economics Institute (MEI) listed Bangkok in the top 10 global hotspots for tourism. Another piece of good news from the report was that the tourism industry in Thailand is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels this year.  

Bangkok’s ranking, and the overall forecast for recovery, form part of the MEI’s fifth annual report, entitled ‘Travel Trends 2024: Breaking Boundaries’, which map out the changing landscape of the travel industry across 74 markets, including 13 in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Results in the study are generated through analyses of Mastercard transaction data, which accumulatively offer insights into macro tourism trends for 2024 and beyond. 

In the 2024 MEI report, Bangkok is ranked seventh in a list of the top 10 cities in the world. Based on recent trends, demand for the capital – and Thailand as a whole – is expected to surge over the next three months. Mastercard’s data also reveal that visitor arrivals are now only 7% below pre-pandemic levels, which suggests the sector is poised to make a full recovery before the end of the year. 

In some areas, Thailand is already outperforming its 2019 data. Findings from the MEI report reveal that inbound flight traffic from South Asia and the ASEAN  region is actually 20% higher than pre-pandemic levels – an indicator of shifting habits among regional traveller demographics, but also a sign of potential growth on the international stage that is yet to materialise. According to Travel and Tour World (TTW), the latest figures are indicative of “renewed interest and confidence in Thailand as a safe and attractive travel destination.” 

The continued growth and recovery of Thailand’s tourism sector can be attributed, at least in part, to promotional campaigns and investment from the government, who have steered the kingdom through challenging waters in recent times. The development of new tourist attractions, combined with safety certification, relaxation in visa regulations and efforts to enhance the overall travel experience, have also had a positive effect.  

With summer season warming up, Thailand expects to attract more international visitors thanks to the country’s unique cultural heritage, beautiful landscapes and world-renowned hospitality. The sun continues to shine on the Land of Smiles.