Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is hopeful of one more extension for the Visa fee waiver regime which is due to expire in October this year. According to Charun Ohnmee, Deputy Governor for Policy & Planning of TAT, the Tourism Agency’s governing board has proposed another extension till April 2020 to the government which is expected to be approved soon.
Speaking to media persons in Delhi, Ohnmee said that it is important that Thailand keeps its number four ranking in terms of international travel and further build upon that ranking. He said that Thailand has been able to reach the current position in the global travel and tourism arena through a decade of hard work and cannot afford to lose that edge. “We want to see the visa waiver policy to continue till April next at least,” he said. While Thailand has been competing with regional destinations like Singapore, Malaysia, etc. till ten years ago, today they compete with the likes of France and Spain, he said. “We are in a new arena today,” he stated.
In Delhi leading a 4-city roadshow, Ohnmee said that the challenge before Thailand Tourism is in educating the trade about new destinations so that the key destinations do not suffer due to over-tourism. “We want Indian travel trade to check out newer destinations, understand the products and then design packages,” he said. While Thailand is a big country with 77 cities, only six cities are known to international travelers, he added.
Conceding that the air capacities between India and Thailand are a constraint for future growth, TAT Deputy Governor expected two governments to work out new agreement opening capacities further by next year.
TAT Governor said that the Indian inbound to Thailand is largely general leisure and Weddings. He said that TAT has to expose its assets in more niche areas like Medical Tourism, MICE, Gastronomic Tourism, etc. to attract more value travelers.
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