80 Million Tourists Per Year?
This past Thursday, Thailand Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, announced a five-year goal to generate annual tourism revenue of 5 trillion baht (USD $152 billion) driven by 80 million yearly arrivals by 2027. This would be nearly three times the 1.93 trillion baht (USD $62.5 billion) generated by the 38 million tourists that arrived in 2019. Short-term, the Kingdom aims to welcome at least 25 million foreign tourists throughout 2023, which would help the sector recover to 60% of pre-pandemic levels as far as actual arrivals go, while total tourism related revenue is forecasted at 2.4 trillion baht (USD $78 billion), or 80% of pre-Covid-19 levels, largely driven by the arrival of tourists from China following the lifting of travel restrictions last week. Phiphat stated that in order to meet this goal, tourism officials will work closely with the Labour Ministry to improve the skills and size of the tourism workforce, as well as enhancing security and safety measures to accommodate the large influx of foreign visitors.
Wowzers. 80 Million Thailand tourists. Could you imagine what that would feel like in each of the major markets here? Based on 2019 stats, that would put Thailand as the third most visited country on Earth just behind France and Spain. I can’t say that I’d be the biggest fan of just how busy this would make places like Bangkok, Phuket, or Chiang Mai feel, but at the end of the day, who am I to say anything!