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Aussies urged to take fresh look at popular destination

Sustainability is now top of this country’s tourism agenda

Australian travellers can expect a different kind of travel experience when they visit Thailand in 2022 and beyond.


The Thai government plans to revive their travel industry with the aim of safe, inclusive and sustainable travel, taking tourism in a new direction in response to changing global trends.

To do this, they are using an environmental model called Bio-Circular-Green, which conforms to sustainable development goals set by the United Nations.


“The pandemic gave us key learning lessons,” said Mr. Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing and Communications.


“What Thailand’s tourism industry needs to stay competitive and resilient in the long run is sustainability, in order to balance the economic, social and environmental elements.”


The country’s blueprint for the future was unveiled during Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) 2022 being held in Phuket.

In an interview with Traveltalk, Ms Sukanya Sirikanjanakul, Executive Director, ASEAN South Asia and South Pacific Region, said that Australia remained an extremely important market for her country. Prior to COVID, some 800,000 Aussies travelled to Thailand each year. Officials are hoping to get at least 200,000 per year by 2023.


“In the South Pacific area, Australia was the first country to come back to Thailand after COVID. Since January this year, Australia ranks number nine on the number of visitors to Thailand. We hope this number will increase when the school holidays begin in July.


“In a few years I believe we might see the Australian market land at number four or five for Thailand.”

Ms Sirikanjanakul said that Thailand was targeting specific Aussie sectors and groups, including luxury, digital nomads, weddings and honeymoons, sport, wellness, MICE and medical travel.


She also revealed that Tourism Authority of Thailand are in discussion with Thai Airways and AirAsia about direct flights from Perth, which would boost incoming tourist numbers. Even MasterChef has been approached to do a Thai-based version of the popular TV show.


“We want Australians to come back to Thailand and see the difference to the past. In the past, we were interested in the leisure market and mass tourism, but now we would like to target responsible tourism.


“Our target is to increase spending from tourists, rather than the number of tourists into Thailand. We want Australians to spend in local areas. We would like to direct the economic benefits of travel back to local communities. This is the target for us at TAT.”


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Written by: Jon Underwood
Published: 9 June 2022

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