Pandemic costs Prachuap Khiri Khan near ฿30 billion loss in tourism revenue

A photo from April 2021 showing a deserted Soi Bintabaht.

Provincial officials have begun outlining plans aimed at revitalising the tourism industry throughout Prachuap Khiri Khan in the wake of COVID-19.

On Tuesday (Mar 15), governor Sathian Charoenrian held a meeting with the Prachuap Khiri Khan Provincial Tourism Development Committee, which includes representatives from the public and private sectors to discuss ways of attracting international tourists to the province.

Data released at the meeting revealed the stark reality of the province’s tourism industry as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

In 2019, Prachuap Khiri Khan welcomed 7.1 million tourists, with approximately 5.9 million domestic tourists, and 1.2 million foreign tourists, which generated 28.8 billion baht in revenue.

In 2020, this dropped to 4.1 million tourists, generating 16.1 billion baht in revenue.

However, in 2021 both tourist arrivals and income plummeted dramatically, with the province welcoming 2.6 million tourists, of which just 3,597 were foreign tourists, while the income generated totalled a mere 36 million baht.

Provincial governor Sathien Chareonruen, stated that the Covid-19 situation has had a significant impact on the province’s tourism economy over the last two years.

As a result, the province must urgently find a way to reintroduce tourism as a means of generating revenue.

Governor Sathien said the situation may improve once Thailand declares COVID-19 as an endemic disease.Governor Sathien urged every district to explore and discover new attractions or highlights, and be ready to develop tourist attractions and interesting products in the local community that will help draw tourists back to the province.

A new promotional campaign will focus on three zones: Hua Hin – Pranburi, Sam Roi Yot – Kui Buri – Mueang Prachuap, and Thap Sakae – Bang Saphan – Bang Saphan Noi.

The campaign will focus on short stays of 1 and 2 nights within the three zones.
Official will target tourists from four different groups including:

  • Families
  • CSR groups who participate in social activities
  • Students, young people, Gen-Y or Millennials who enjoy traveling alone or with friends and who are heavy users of social media
  • Retirees who have high purchasing power from savings or pensions

Meanwhile, the meeting also discussed the need for the province to create a new mascot which will be used as a public relations symbol to promote tourism.

Previously a mascot dubbed Dusky Langur was chosen as the province’s tourism mascot, as it is an animal native to the area. But now officials want to design new mascots and invite members of the public to vote for a winner.