Anucha Burapachaisri, who is also the Acting Government Spokesperson, disclosed that with an estimated revenue of 1.73 trillion Baht (from foreign tourists: 970,000 million Baht, and domestic travel: 760,000 million Baht), at the best-case scenario, tourism revenue is also expected at 2.38 trillion Baht (from foreign tourists: 1.5 trillion Baht, and domestic travel: 880,000 million Baht).
The government also acknowledged business operation adjustment plan of various airlines to be in line with an increasing number of tourists, especially in the high season. During the 4th quarter of 2022, the number of tourists is estimated at 1.5 million persons/month. Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has also a plan to collaborate with partner airlines to launch sales and marketing campaigns for further tourism promotion in the high season.
According to the Government Spokesperson, the tourism sector has continued to recover since the government’s decision to fully reopen the country.
Over 5 million tourists, so far, have visited Thailand since early this year. In September only, the number of tourists has been recorded at over 1 million, and it is expected that the number will reach 10 million, as targeted, or more by the end of this year. Throughout these times, the government has constantly been working together with concerned public and private sectors, as well as tourism business operators, to identify and implement tourism promotion measures with the focus on an increase of quality tourists.
New Visa Program Helping
Thailand’s new visa program has been receiving applications from wealthy foreigners, with officials viewing it as a promising indication that more will follow.
According to Narit Therdsteerasukdi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Board of Investment (BOI), pensioners have so far made up 40% of applications while those applying for the work pass comprised 30%. The remaining 30% were skilled professionals and wealthy global citizens.
The new visa program aims to attract both foreigners and expats already residing in the kingdom under other permits while the majority of the applicants are Americans and Chinese. The government hopes to generate 1 trillion baht in annual economic benefits via investment and property purchases.
Under the program, visitors receive a 10-year renewable, multiple-entry visa. They can also seek employment while being eligible for tax breaks and a 17% cap on personal income tax for highly-skilled professionals, with benefits extended to their spouse and children.