With many countries, including Thailand, taking an endemic approach to Covid-19, tourists, including those from Singapore, are excited to visit.
Some may be attracted to certain destinations as they are supposedly more budget-friendly.
However, this may change soon.
On Monday (4 Jul), Thailand’s government ministers said that businesses and institutions should refrain from luring tourists with big discounts.
Instead, they hope the country will be seen as a premium travel destination.
According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), Thailand received about two million foreign visitors in the first half of 2022. This revival followed the 18 months of “complex and costly entry requirements”, which almost led to the collapse of its tourism industry.
In 2019, before the pandemic, the nation welcomed a record of nearly 40 million visitors who spent S$74.4 billion (1.91 trillion baht). This is equivalent to 11% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The number of foreign visitors, however, reportedly dropped to 6.7 million in 2020 and 428,000 in 2021.
Perhaps in light of the decline, Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said at an event to promote tourism that,
We cannot let people come to Thailand and say because it’s cheap. Instead they should say ‘because it works, it’s reasonable’, that’s where we can increase value.
Then, he compared this approach to that of Louis Vuitton, a popular luxury brand. He said,
Hold your ground. Sell premium. The more expensive, the more customers. Otherwise, Louis Vuitton wouldn’t have any sales.
The Straits Times (ST) noted that Thailand expects 10 million foreign arrivals this year.
Understandably, some may be disappointed in this approach.
After all, everyone loves a budget-friendly vacation.
However, those who visit Thailand should appreciate everything the country has to offer, including good food and rich culture, regardless of the costs.
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Featured image adapted from @duckman1992 on Unsplash.
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