Towards the end of March, the Thai government announced its figures for the first quarter of 2023. And the results are good: 6.15 million foreign tourists arrived in the Land of Smiles since January – a number that surpasses expectations from the beginning of the year.
And the good news doesn’t stop there. According to government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri, the kingdom will see plenty more visitors in the months ahead. The total inbound arrival target for 2023 is now 25-30 million foreign travellers – a clear indication that the sector is almost back to full health.
Following the latest developments, the government is encouraging hospitality businesses, especially hotels and restaurants, to provide a warm welcome to the influx of new visitors. The request also came with a reminder to offer fair costing, following recent complaints of price hikes in some quarters.
Meanwhile, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn is busy driving arrival numbers up by raising awareness of the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2023: Amazing New Chapters’ campaign, with special focus on sustainable and responsible tourism.
“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,” said the governor in a recent statement.
The European market is expected to be critical to both the overall number of arrivals in the remaining three quarters of the year and the emphasis these travels place on sustainability. TAT expects around 5.8 million European tourists to make the journey in the months ahead.
Speaking at the Thailand Stand during last month’s ITB Berlin 2023 – TAT representatives revealed the key to hitting their arrivals targets from source markets in Europe and beyond: Thailand’s 5Fs soft-power foundations – Food, Film, Fashion, Festivals and Fights.