- The tourism and service business sector has solved all sorts of problems, navigating the rocky challenge of “tourism” as the main engine of economic recovery. Grab the opportunity to compete with other countries.
- Retail businesses prepare to discuss with Prime Minister Settha to propose an urgent agenda to stimulate tourists to spend together. Proposing to build a sandbox in Phuket, a tax-free city
- “Atta” asks for “visa-free” phase 2 in the “India-Taiwan” market, hopes to start the New Year festival in 2024, urges the engine to speed up the recovery of confidence. “Travel to Thailand safely” helps to recover the number of “Chinese tourists”
- Another important issue is the need to expedite capacity management planning. Supports the government in adjusting the foreign tourist target for 2024 to 40 million people, the same as in 2019 before the Covid outbreak.
After the first meeting of the Cabinet (Cabinet) on September 13, the resolution was approved.Visa exemption measures or Visa-free (Visa-Free) or travel to Thailand without applying for a visa. It is temporary toChinese touristsand Kazakhstan for a period of 5 months from 25 Sep. 2023 – 29 Feb. 2024, covering Golden Week or 3 important long holidays for Chinese people: china national day (1 Oct.) New Year Festival and Chinese New Year Festival Hoping to stimulate the tourism sector, which is the main engine of the Thai economy, urgently (Quick-Win). The tourism private sector has responded very well to this good news. But it is still seen that the government can increase the number of target countries for visa-free visas. Push foreign tourist opportunities to reach a new goal of 40 million people in 2024.
Prime Minister Settha asks for time to consider adding more countries for ‘visa-free’
Mr. Settha Thavisin, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, said that there will be consideration of visa-free measures for tourists from other countries as well or not. The government is currently considering several dimensions. Because Thailand also needs some compensation. Therefore, we must ask for time to consider first. We will try our best to catch up with the tourist season (high season) which is coming up at the end of this year.
In addition, the period of stay will be extended for tourists from some countries who do not already need to apply for a visa. or countries with very cold weather Who sometimes want to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days. They may consider it on a country-by-country basis by studying information and statistics first. If managed well and systematically It is believed that every season will be a high season for the Thai tourism sector.
The Prime Minister accelerates aggressive PR to encourage Chinese people to travel to Thailand.
Mr. Settha said after visiting the Chiang Mai Province inspection area on September 16-17 that after the Cabinet approved visa-free measures for Chinese and Kazakhstan tourists. There have been some discussions with entrepreneurs. I saw that there was a significant increase in reservations. Here, he is not worried that there will be a lot of people coming to visit. Because it’s good to come and travel a lot. But the problem that may arise is security. He has instructed the commanders of various agencies in Chiang Mai Province that this matter is important. And do not let the issue of gray business and other things that are not good invade economic growth.
“The safety and confidence of tourists is important. Now Thailand is competing for Chinese tourists. and knows that the Chinese economy is not good Chinese people also want to go to the safest country. Therefore, we must quickly find ways to do proactive PR to attract more Chinese tourists to Chiang Mai.”
Suggest measures to encourage tourists to spend together.
Mr. Yon Phoksap, Chief Executive Officer of Central Retail Corporation Public Company Limited or CRC and President of the Thai Retailers Association, said that the new government’s drive for Thailand has many policies and measures to stimulate the economy. To create a ripple effect in every sector as much as possible. Especially the Thai tourism sector which focuses on main tourist economic cities such as Phuket province
Setting up a “free visa” policy for foreign tourists This is considered to attract more tourists to Thailand. But what needs to be done together is Stimulating tourist spending through various measures such as liberalizing lifestyle or luxury products. Currently, Thailand’s tax rate is higher than other countries. Makes it impossible to Maximize tourism well Including accelerating FTA negotiations. To push for a reduction in taxes on luxury products
“There is great hope to make Phuket a bright place. But things that can be made concrete Must make it a free, tax-free zone. After that, gradually expand to other areas. which in the matter of luxury products A clear reflection of the lifestyle of Thai people. When traveling abroad, people like to spend on brand name products. If you want your money to stay in Thailand Should consider adjusting taxes accordingly. To attract more spending by both Thai people and tourists staying in Thailand. The government itself will receive more VAT tax, and the private sector will remit more tax as well.”
Prepare to discuss with the Prime Minister Urgent agenda to revive the economy
However, the Thai Retailers Association Prepare to request a meeting with Mr. Settha Thavisin, Prime Minister, after completing his business trip to the United States. To jointly present guidelines for stimulating the retail sector and the Thai economy. The retail sector is involved with many SME businesses. SMEs account for two-thirds of employment and the retail and service sector ecosystem in the country.
“The government must take care of Balance the issue of product liberalization well. If too much is opened, foreign products will come in and have an impact on the SME business sector. Therefore, there should be guidelines to support strong SMEs as well.”
for project implementation “Digital Wallet 10,000 baht” would like to have discussions with the private sector. In order to set guidelines and promote wide-ranging impacts according to the government’s goal of being able to rotate money 3-5 times, however, initially it is estimated that If the first set of economic stimulus measures is successful This will result in purchasing power growing “double” within a period of 6-7 months. The total retail business sector in 2023 is expected to expand by 3-5%.
Stimulating demand for hotels and resorts
Mrs. Wallapa Traisorat, Chief Executive Officer and President of Asset World Corp Public Company Limited or AWC, a major real estate developer, said that the tourism situation for the remainder of 2023 has a better direction. From the new government’s economic stimulus policy Especially the opening of free visas for Chinese tourists. that will be used before the long holiday or Golden Weekend of China It has a positive effect on the overall tourism industry. Including small and medium sized entrepreneurs, not limited to large entrepreneurs only.
In line with Mr. Weerawat Ongvasit, Chief Executive Officer of Veranda Resort Public Company Limited, he sees that the visa-free policy for Chinese tourists will greatly encourage more tourists to travel to Thailand. It is directly beneficial to the hotel and resort business sector. The more quickly it is announced And it doesn’t require a large budget. It will make the tourism sector in this high season lively.
Benefits of free visas encourage Chinese people to buy condos.
Mr. Ong-at Suwannakul, Assistant Managing Director Condominium Project Development Department, Sansiri Public Company Limited, said the visa-free policy It is a part of stimulating the real estate sector. Because it helps facilitate travel for Chinese tourists who want to travel to Thailand. It has a positive effect on the tourism sector, an important mechanism for stimulating the overall economy. which accounts for 20% of GDP.
“Chinese tourists It has a large proportion in the Thai tourism business. It will help stimulate the Thai economy very well.”
Mr. Wichai Wiratkaphan, Acting Director of the Real Estate Information Center, said that the government’s issuing a visa-free policy for Chinese tourists is a factor supporting the transfer of ownership of residences by foreigners in 2023. From the first half of this year, there have been 7,338 transfers. Unit transfer value 35,211 million baht
In this regard, the highest proportion of Chinese customers still purchase condominiums at 16,992 million baht. It is expected that throughout this year there will be a transfer value of over 30,000 million baht, followed by Russia at 2,556 million baht, the United States at 1,289 million baht, the United Kingdom at 1,287 million baht, and Myanmar at 1,274. million baht, France 1,127 million baht, Taiwan 1,089 million baht, Germany 1,087 million baht, India 845 million baht, and Japan 592 million baht.
“Domestic purchasing power is still weak. especially the middle-lower group It can be seen that the number of failed bank loans is high. As a result, sales and transfers of condos in the first half of the year decreased. But it is hoped that the opening of free visas will help stimulate tourism and make the atmosphere lively. There will be domestic consumption and the condo market will also benefit. A number of tourists want to have a second home in Thailand.”
Urges to restore confidence in China to correct rumors ‘Traveling to Thailand is not safe’
Mr. Sistiwat Chivarattanaporn, President of the Thai Tourism Business Association (ATA), revealed that although the government has unlocked visa restrictions for Chinese tourists during the high season to travel to Thailand without having to apply for a 5-month temporary visa, there is still A major obstacle is the attitude of Chinese people that traveling to Thailand is not safe. Both from negative rumors circulating on social media, especially TikTok, about kidnapping for ransom and cutting off organs to sell, which happened in neighboring countries, not in Thailand. In addition, there is a famous crime movie being released in China right now. This has led to the perception that Thailand is not safe. It is a point that makes Chinese tourists unsure about traveling. and choose to travel to other destinations instead, such as Dubai, United Arab Emirates including Singapore and Malaysia
“When the Thai government issues a free visa measure to stimulate the market. It’s considered a good thing. Because in history, visa-free measures have never been offered to the Chinese market before. There are only measures to waive visa fees, such as during the Phuket boat disaster in 2018, allowing tour operators to explain and sell Thai travel packages to Chinese tourists that Thailand honors and values the Chinese people. Like being a VIP guest If you don’t travel to Thailand now When will you travel to Thailand? This is positive news for us. amidst negative rumors circulating on social media.”
And according to Mr. Settha, the Prime Minister is scheduled to visit China in early October 2023. The tourism private sector wants the Prime Minister. Communicate with the Chinese government Correct misunderstandings regarding negative rumors about Thailand mentioned above.
“To drive the foreign tourist market to reach the government’s target of 40 million people. Back to the same level as in 2019, when the number was the highest in history. Seeing that it is not above the shoulders If the government helps support the business sector Especially airlines to return to operating normal flight routes.”
At the same time, if we can reach that goal Must focus on attracting more tourists from the short-haul market in 2024, especially the Chinese tourist market to return to the original 11 million people. After this year, the hope is that the Chinese market will travel to Thailand to reach 4-4.5 million. People, even though it’s not easy Because from the latest statistics from 1 Jan. – 10 Sep., there were 2.28 million Chinese tourists accumulated. We need to add at least another 500,000 to 600,000 per month in the last 4 months to see the number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand completely close. This year, that’s 4.5 million people.
Including tourists from other markets such as Malaysia, who have traveled to Thailand as high as 4.2 million people, this number can be pushed up to 4.5-5 million people next year. while the Japanese market Still recovering quite slowly. It has recently recovered to only 30% of the total Japanese market traveling to Thailand. And most of them are business people.
Famous movie ‘No More Bets’ shakes up Chinese tourists
Mr. Adit Chairattananon, secretary-general of Atta, added that Other problems and obstacles that want the government to urgently fix is an image problem From crime news and negative rumors that have remained on social media in China for more than 3 months, including the impact of the popular Chinese movie “No More Bets” which grossed over 3.7 billion yuan. in the past 1 month It became the highest-grossing Chinese film this year. There is content about human trafficking rings and online call center scammers who prey on Chinese tourists traveling to Southeast Asia.
“Many years ago Thailand has previously benefited from the Chinese movie “Lost in Thailand,” which has sparked a trend in attracting Chinese tourists to Thailand. Create momentum for continued good growth in 2019 before the Covid outbreak. There are over 11 million Chinese tourists to Thailand, but this trip may be spoiled by the movie No More Bets because it has quite an effect on Chinese attitudes. It is an important issue that the Thai government must solve quickly and Prime Minister Settha must go and talk with the Chinese government. To continue good relationships and regain trust.”
In addition, he wants the government to urgently develop social media data analysis tools (Social Listening Tools) to capture both positive and negative trends. So that the Thai tourism sector can prepare a response plan in a timely manner.