Upbeat Tourism Council anticipates 30-40 million tourists to visit Thailand next year

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The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) has said it anticipates a total of 12 million foreign tourists to visit Thailand this year, rising to 30-40 million international arrivals next year.

The Tourism Council revealed that following a survey, the confidence level among tourism business operators was at 65, which was higher than it had been during the previous quarter, indicating that the situation in the industry is improving.

The TCT said it anticipates confidence levels in the industry to improve further to around 70 by the end of the fourth quarter, by which time a total of 12 million foreign tourists will have visited the country.

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Inflation and rising energy and labor costs are the main concerns for business owners in the coming quarter, the TCT said.

However, the tourism industry’s overall revenue increased more than in the previous quarter with income at approximately 40%of pre COVID-19 levels. .

The TCT said that approximately 87% of establishments are open, 78% of accommodation businesses had income in the 30-50% range of their pre-COVID-19 income.

Meanwhile, around 27% of respondents to the survey said they were struggling with labor shortages and did not have enough staff to be able to operate their business.

Pre-COVID-19 the number of foreign tourists arriving in Thailand were on the rise each year, from 24.81 million in 2014 to 39.92 million in 2019.

However, in 2020, Thailand recorded 6.7 million tourist arrivals and just 400,000 arrivals in 2021 during the height of the pandemic.

Whether or not as many as 40 million foreign tourists visit Thailand in 2023 will depend largely on whether China will ease its restrictions on overseas travel.

Prior to COVID-19, approximately 12 Chinese tourists visited Thailand each year.

Last month, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakan said that Thailand could see as many as 1.5 million tourists visit the country in December, if China permits the resumption of outbound tourism.

Thailand has welcomed over 6 million foreign tourists during the first nine months of 2022.

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