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9 Dec 2022


2023 international arrivals projected to reach 20.0-24.0 million amid several challenges that lie ahead (Current Issue No.3370)


        Following the country’s full reopening in July 2022, Thailand has welcomed a renewed influx of foreign visitors. KResearch views that international tourist arrivals are set to total 11.0 million this year, higher than the official target of 10.0 million.
        In 2023, KResearch projects that the number of foreign tourists coming to Thailand may reach 20.0-24.0 million, or 50.0-60.0 percent of the 2019 figure. Tourists from the Middle East may lead the recovery, and surge to a level higher than that of 2019. Overall, other tourist markets are likely to revive as well, but will take some time to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, the Chinese market may not return anytime soon. Attention must be paid to the new COVID wave in China and its policy implementation over the next year.

        Regarding revenue generated by tourism and related businesses, it is estimated to reach THB 0.84 - 1.01 trillion in 2023. Average spending per person per trip will remain less than that of 2019 due to several factors including changing travel demands – especially among short-haul travellers, younger travellers and backpackers – and concerns about travel budgets amid the economic slowdown.

        Although foreign tourist arrivals are expected to increase in 2023, the figure will remain below pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, the revival of inbound tourism markets remains uneven due to multiple challenges, particularly the risk of recession in major economies like the US and many European countries, risks related to income recovery and employment, the prolonged Russia-Ukraine war, geopolitical tensions in East Asia, and the persistently high cost of living. As a result, tourism business operators need to have risk management plan in place to cope with changing circumstances, in order to maintain business liquidity. Focus should be on action plans for management of travel changes or cancellations, prudent investment in new projects, penetration to varied tourist markets to diversify risks, exploration of market trends to develop products and services that meet tourists’ needs, as well as adherence to security standards and service quality.