TAT Adopts Cautious Approach to Visa Fee Waiver Scheme
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Tourism Authority of Thailand is taking a cautious approach toward implementing a visa fee waiver scheme to attract more foreign tourists.
In response to tourism operators urging the government to offer a visa fee waiver scheme to stimulate the market, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn stated that it may not be the best strategy, given that the main issue is currently the lengthy waiting period during the visa application process. He noted that this strategy previously faced problems regarding how tour package prices would be cut to benefit tourists since the TAT offered this scheme during the Covid-19 pandemic, but it was denied by the relevant authorities in charge of the issue.
Tourism has been gradually picking up, but experts predict that the market will only achieve less than 50% of the level seen in 2019, which reached a peak of around 10 million visitors. The TAT governor said that in addition to the slow recovery of the Chinese economy, flight shortages due to airlines facing shortages on the supply side such as aircraft and maintenance play an important factor in slowing its recovery. There is, however, hope for a boost in visitor numbers in October during China’s "Golden Week" holiday, as airlines are scheduled to increase their services to handle the increase in passengers during that period.
Meanwhile, In an effort to revitalize tourism, Thai Lion Air is set to open six new routes to Guangzhou, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Xi’an from August 15. These new routes will utilize Boeing 737–800 and Boeing 737-900ER aircraft. Currently, Thai Lion Air operates 15 aircraft in its fleet, consisting of 13 B737-800s and two B737-900ERs.
Thai AirAsia has also shown promising signs with an average load factor of 80% on Chinese routes during the first half of the year, with 13 operational routes to 12 destinations in China. The airline said that it will gradually resume its routes to southern China and hopes to fully recover by the end of this year, both in terms of destinations and frequencies.
Information and Source
Reporter : Krajangwit Johjit
Rewriter : Tarin Angskul
National News Bureau : http://thainews.prd.go.th