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A month after reopening, Thailand sees gradual tourism recovery

Published on : Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thailand was among the first countries in Asia to reopen for foreign arrivals and it is seeing a slow recovery including new hotels touting longer stays for individual travellers.

In the first 10 months of 2021, Thailand saw 106,117 foreign tourists after-gradual-reopening-2021-11-23 which is a drop from 6.7 million in 2020.

Before the pandemic, Thailand saw about 40 million visitors a year.

Chief Executive Wallapa Traisorat said that bout 70% of total bookings came from Europe, including Germany, UK, Scandinavian countries, followed by the U.S., Middle East, and Asia that domestic travel helped.

Thailand, one of the region’s most popular destinations, is heavily dependent on tourism. In 2019, 40 million arrivals spent 1.91 trillion baht ($57.3 billion).

Centara Hotels and Resorts is moving ahead with plans to open a 1.1 billion baht hotel on the island of Samui in December.

Initially the property expects most guests to be locals on longer stays, said Centara Hotels Chief Financial Officer Gun Srisompong.

Demand patterns have changed. Individual travellers on longer stays and ‘workations’ need more personalisation, Srisompong said.

Thailand expects only 200,000 foreign tourists this year, and 5 million in 2022.

Thinner crowds and discounts made for a more pleasant experience, said German tourist Markus Klarer.

It’s a good time to come back to Thailand again, Klarer said.

Despite the reopening, some businesses said COVID rules still made some things hard.

Tourists are not fully confident and still confused with government regulations, said Chitchai Senwong, a restaurant manager in Bangkok, citing a government rule that prohibits alcohol consumption after 9 p.m.

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Tags: COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand Tourism

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