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Thailand rethinks its tourism strategy

Thailand rethinks its tourism strategy

THAILAND: The government has announced it is changing its strategy in efforts to revive the tourism industry by targeting high net worth individuals and big spenders intent on privacy and social distancing.

By The Phuket News

Friday 19 June 2020, 01:07PM

“This is an opportunity to reset the entire tourism system,” said Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn. Photo: Bangkok Post file

“This is an opportunity to reset the entire tourism system,” said Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn. Photo: Bangkok Post file

The global COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the tourism sector on which Thailand is so dependent and has provided an opportunity for authorities to reset their approach and reevaluate their strategy, according to Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.

Minister Phiphat told Bloomberg News the sector had become overly reliant on Chinese groups and backpackers and would instead be targeting more affluent individuals who crave holidays with minimal risks.

Minister Phiphat confirmed the government is working in collaboration with the travel industry to profile and target individuals from a specific demographic such as previous visitors to high-end luxury resorts in places such as Phuket, Phangan, Phi Phi and Samui.

Phuket in particular is “a prototype” due to the island possessing all the relevant facilities required.

The northern hemisphere winter months of November-February are the ideal time to attract vistors, Minister Phiphat said, particularly from Europe, Scandinavia and the US.

Internal - Phuket News TV

“One person can easily spend as much as five by staying at the finest hotels,” he said.

The target is 10 million foreign arrivals this year, which is a quarter of last year’s total. Revenue from tourism is estimated to be B1.23 trillion, a 59% decrease on 2019.

Minister Phiphat added that the pandemic has provided an opportunity to remedy issues and problems that were prevalent prior to the shutdown such as environmental destruction and mass tourim creating over-crowding at beaches, temples and major tourist spots.

“If we don’t use this chance to create the most benefit for the industry, Thailand will lose out,” he said. “This is an opportunity to reset the entire tourism system.”

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Surprised Wolf | 02 September 2020 - 22:51:07

So what do we do with all those empty hotel room? Did the government close all illegal (not holding a license) hotels and non licensed accommodations?

mgb | 24 June 2020 - 10:01:52

Same like the bars "less customers so we charge more". Nothing new.

Kurt | 20 June 2020 - 14:19:55

What are Phuket's  'possessing relevant facillities' ? Name them, please. One wise thing is that he seems to turn his back to tourists from China. Well, these only come 4-7 days anyway. To short , seen the 2 week quarantine setting in Thailand+ all the certifications needed.

Kurt | 20 June 2020 - 14:13:11

Mr Phiphat's 'rethinking' could bring something new. However, he thinks money only, not 'rethinking'. And 'resetting' that is just back to what is was. When I reset my pc I get the old back, nothing new. He complete misses the link with european democratic free thinking. Not a single European will fit in in his regimental ordering foreign tourists . What are Phuket'...

Kurt | 20 June 2020 - 11:08:59

@Galong, there is nothing more rooted in Thailand than: "This is the way we do it". To avoid disappointment, read about  New Normal and travel bubble invention and see nothing will change. Do we read about tourist room construction stop on Phuket? No. About real waterproblem tackling? No, About incinerators capacity? No. Are all Phuket busses now have installed new exhaust pipe filters??...

GerryT81 | 19 June 2020 - 23:28:56

They should stop issuing retirement visas,unless someone would show at least a 3.000.000 Baht deposit on a Thai bank account.Maybe that would help to get rid of those constant complaining ,bitter old people.

Galong | 19 June 2020 - 17:50:27

Great idea, however, if the cheap charlie tour operators protest, historically-speaking the gov will cave and let them have their way. Force Thailand to upgrade!  It's the way forward.

BigA | 19 June 2020 - 16:16:09

Nonsense !There is nothing more to say

LALALA | 19 June 2020 - 13:21:38

What planet Mr. P is coming from ? Does he really think that high end western travelers like to be kept hostile in one place for 14 days ? Probably all still with face mask wearing and tracking app....good luck with that. It will simply not happen. 


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