Thailand is looking to India to boost its tourism recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. Thailand’s Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, plans to visit India this year to meet with his counterpart, Narendra Modi, and discuss increasing flight frequency between the two countries.
Thailand is also waiving visas for travelers from India, China, and Kazakhstan starting next week. These measures are aimed at attracting more tourists from these countries and helping Thailand’s tourism industry recover.
Thailand’s Tourism Industry
Thailand’s tourism industry is a key driver of the country’s economy, accounting for around 18% of GDP. In 2019, Thailand welcomed over 40 million tourists, but that number fell to just 1.6 million in 2021 due to the pandemic.
Thailand’s tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, but it is starting to recover. In the first half of 2023, Thailand welcomed over 1 million tourists, which is a significant increase from the same period last year.
However, Thailand’s tourism industry is still below pre-pandemic levels. The government is hoping that by waiving visas and increasing flight frequency with India, they will be able to attract more tourists and help their tourism industry recover.
India’s Growing Middle Class
India is a large and growing market for Thailand’s tourism industry. In 2019, over 2 million Indian tourists visited Thailand. India’s middle class is also growing rapidly, and more and more Indians are able to afford to travel abroad.
The World Travel and Tourism Council’s report predicts that the outbound tourism market in India will experience a robust annual growth rate of 9.3% over the next decade, indicating a substantial rise in the number of Indian tourists traveling abroad in the coming years.
Thailand stands in a favorable position to benefit from India’s burgeoning tourism market. Its popularity among Indian tourists is attributed to a myriad of attractions, such as its beautiful beaches, serene temples, and rich cultural offerings. Furthermore, Thailand’s affordability adds to its allure for Indian travelers.
Despite the potential of India’s tourism market, there are a few challenges that Thailand needs to overcome in order to attract more Indian tourists. One challenge is the lack of direct flights between the two countries. Currently, there are only a few direct flights between Thailand and major Indian cities.
Another challenge is the perception of Thailand as a dangerous country. Some Indians have concerns about safety and security in Thailand. The Thai government needs to address these concerns in order to attract more Indian tourists.
Thailand’s tourism industry is a vital part of the country’s economy, and the government is looking to India to help boost its recovery. The visa waivers and increased flight frequency between the two countries are positive steps, and they are likely to attract more Indian tourists to Thailand.
However, Thailand needs to overcome a few challenges in order to fully capitalize on India’s growing tourism market. The government needs to increase the number of direct flights between the two countries and address the perception of Thailand as a dangerous country.
Thailand can attract more Indian tourists and boost its tourism industry if it successfully addresses these challenges.