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Thailand tourism: A sustainable future for long-haul travel

Photo courtesy of TTR Weekly

Thailand’s tourism sector is turning its attention to long-haul travellers, leveraging enhanced flight connectivity and a commitment to sustainability.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) unveiled an ambitious strategy to attract visitors from far-flung destinations, with a focus on boosting airline routes and promoting eco-friendly tourism.

At the recent Thailand Travel Mart+ (TTM+ 2024) in Khao Lak, Phang Nga Province, international buyers discovered an array of Thai tourism products from 430 vendors. Notably, 25.2% of the 425 business-matching participants hailed from Europe, with 11.3% representing the Americas, Africa, and the Middle East.

TAT Deputy Governor Siripakorn Cheawsamoot highlighted the significance of long-haul markets, contributing to 28% of Thailand’s international arrivals. In 2023, the country welcomed nearly eight million visitors from these regions, and from January to June this year, it has already seen over 4.3 million arrivals. TAT’s goal for 2024 is to attract nearly 10 million visitors, generating 769,824 million baht in tourism receipts.

“Flight connectivity is crucial. This summer, international flights to Thailand increased by 28%.”

Airlines are responding robustly, with Air Canada, Condor, Finnair, THAI Airways, and AirAsia X all introducing new routes. For instance, Air Canada will launch seven weekly flights from Vancouver to Bangkok starting in October, while Condor will operate eight weekly flights from Frankfurt to Bangkok and Phuket from September.

Thailand is also enhancing visa-free entry for visitors from 93 countries, extending stays from 30 to 60 days. In collaboration with airlines, TAT plans to offer long-stay airfares, including hotel bonuses and value-added services for shopping and dining.

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Sustainability is at the heart of Thailand’s tourism future.

“Many travellers are willing to pay more for sustainable aviation fuel.”

Cheawsamoot underscores TAT’s commitment to eco-friendly practices. Initiatives include the Thailand Tourism Awards and Sustainable Tourism Goals, with international partnerships ensuring global standards.

Thailand will host the first-ever Tourism Care Summit and the Meaningful Travel Fair next year, promoting sustainable tourism and engaging local communities. These events aim to solidify Thailand’s reputation as a leading sustainable tourism destination, reported TTR Weekly.

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