56 foreign tourists visited Hua Hin since Nov 1, calls to lower 100,000 arrivals target

Downtown Hua Hin, file photo.

Fifty six foreign tourists visited Hua Hin in the first 15 days of Thailand’s reopening, information released on Tuesday (Nov 16) has revealed.

Of the 56 foreign tourists, 16 entered via the ‘Living in the Blue Zone’ scheme which meant they are required to remain in the 86 square kilometres of Hua Hin and Nong Khae districts, while 40 foreign tourists visited Hua Hin after entering Thailand in the Test & Go which meant they were free to travel around Thailand without restriction.

The most recent figures show a slight increase from the eight foreign tourists who visited Hua Hin in the early part of the reopening.

Vice President of the Thai Hotels Association Mr Udom Srimahachota, who is also an honorary advisor the Hua Hin-Cha-am Tourism Association, said he expects more tourists to arrive in the run up to Christmas and in the early part of next year.

However, he predicts that tourist arrivals in Hua Hin will only reach about 25 percent of the amount that would normally visit Hua Hin during this time of year.

The amount of tourist arrivals will fall way short of the 100,000 target set by tourism officials as part of the plans to reopen Hua Hin.

Previously it had been estimated that 100,000 foreign tourists would visit Hua Hin before the end year, which would generate an estimated 1.2 billion baht for the local economy.

However, those estimates now seem unlikely, and Mr Udom has said the time has come for 100,000 arrivals target to be reevaluated.

Mr Udom said that there were a number of factors which could contribute to the lack of foreign tourist arrivals, some of which are beyond Thailand’s control.

He said that the economic situation in other countries means that people are not able to spend money on travelling long distances. He also said that are still not that many flights operating to Thailand, which further limits the number of potential arrivals.

Mr Udom also said that problems with the Thailand Pass system and number of requirements needed for foreigners to enter Thailand is confusing and may put some people off travelling to the country.

He said that some countries are also still implementing quarantine for people who return home, while countries like China are not allowing in or outbound tourism currently.

Mr Udom said that a trade show or travel mart should be launched whereby travel agents, as well as influencers or bloggers, from around the world are invited to Hua Hin and Cha Am in order to create awareness of both destinations.

He also encouraged Hua Hin and Cha Am to further tap into the health/wellness tourism market.

He said that Hua Hin can attract tourists due to its modern medicine, alternative medicine, Ayurveda, and both Thai and Chinese traditional medical facilities and offerings.