The events in Ukraine that interfered with the plans of Thai tourism forced the authorities of the kingdom to reconsider their expectations for the next tourist season. However, even the removal of anti-COVID restrictions, which are still tightly adhered to by local authorities, will not help the travel sector rise like a phoenix. Thailand's tourism expectations are unlikely to come true, and the Thais will again be out of work, so tourism is again waiting for times of depression. Such a conclusion can be drawn from the statement of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
According to the data, the tourism index remains at a critically low level in the first quarter, while the risk of increasing unemployment continues to cloud the outlook for the next quarter, mainly due to the activity of the omicron strain and events in Ukraine.
“Tour operators are still struggling to keep business going as tourist numbers have yet to fully recover due to current travel regulations. This hurdle must be removed before most tour operators collapse,” said TCT CEO Chamnan Srisawat.
Based on an agency survey of 200 foreign travelers between February 20 and March 10, about 71% agreed that PCR testing on arrival is a hassle and costly procedure when visiting Thailand. Meanwhile, the recent Tourism Confidence Index was 44 in the first quarter of this year, a significant improvement from the same period in 2021, when the index was only 36. However, it continues to decline. The index reflects the weak confidence of travelers in tourism, as a reading below 100 indicates low confidence in the sector.
The survey, conducted among 740 tour operators between February 20 and March 10, also showed that entertainment establishments that are more most affected by the covid pandemic, have the lowest confidence in the tourism sector: only 20, compared to 41 in the same period last year.
78% of tour operators are struggling to increase revenues, 45% said their revenues have declined, while 33% can marginally maintain the same revenue level as last quarter. Meanwhile, 14% of the 140 hoteliers surveyed across the country continued to lay off staff, despite the country reopening international borders last November. The most affected segment is entertainment, as about 44% of such establishments plan to reduce the number of employees in the second quarter, followed by spas and massage parlors (24%) and tour operators (10%).
The head of the department noted that Thai tourism should save 40 % of pre-Covid 2019 levels, or 1.2 trillion baht (3.3 trillion rubles) this year, which can give 16 million foreign tourists and 75 million domestic travelers to support the entire tourism industry. However, the absence of a Russian-Ukrainian market in Thai resorts will significantly reduce the total number of foreign tourists.
Tourism experts said a measure needed to make Thai resorts once again attractive to foreign travelers is waiving restrictions and PCR testing for the Thailand Pass.
Tourism in Russia's beloved Mediterranean country is in a similar mood. , which is preparing for a disastrous season. Read the details at this link.
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