After more than 2 Years of Border Closure with partial reopening stages since last July, Thailand is planning to reopen its Borders with No restrictions soon for international arrivals. The Question is, how will the inbound Tourism to Thailand be after the Fully border reopens maybe in the Third Quarter of this Year?
Main Markets and Nationalities visiting Thailand Post COVID
Before the Pandemic, The Top 3 Source markets for the inbound tourism to Thailand used to Be China, Malaysia and Japan, However, Post COVID these Rankings are expected to change significantly.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is Focusing on New Markets and other emerging Markets as China is still closing its borders for outbound tourism and that seems to be the case for at least the rest of this Year.
In addition to that, Russia, which used to be among the Top 5 Source markets is now affected economically by the War in Ukraine, which will significantly affect the Number of Russian Arrivals.
The Main focus markets for Post COVID will be on the Middle East Market, Especially the Saudi Arabian Market which is considered to be one of the Biggest Potential markets after the reopening of the Borders between Thailand and Saudi Arabia after nearly 30 years of closure.
The Indian Market is also Expected to be leading the Number of arrivals by taking over the Chinese market which previously leaded the number of arrivals pre pandemic.
Changing the Markets Means Change in the Tourism Products Offered?
The Change in the Source markets will definitely affect the Type of the Tourism Products and Thailand Tours offered and also the related tourism Services that are currently Operating in Thailand or used to be operating before the Pandemic.
For example, the Type of restaurants that are operating in the Touristic Places will be mainly focusing on providing the Halal Food if the Portion of Tourists from the Middle East becomes Higher, as well as the Type of Food offered during the Day Trips might be affected based on the clients’ Preferences (Indian and Middle eastern menus might dominate in the future if they become the main market Sources).
Tour Operators and Travel Companies
The Biggest Inbound tour Operators in Thailand used to be the ones Targeting travelers and Travel agents from the Chinese Market as they leaded the number of arrivals each year before the Pandemic. These Tour operators will not be the ones leading anymore as their Source Market is Not active as before. New Big Tour Operators will take over the market depending on the new target and Emerging Markets that will be created Post Pandemic.
Private Tours VS Join Tours
Till Now, most of the travelers are Trying to avoid the Big Group join tours while exploring the country to reduce the risk and the chances to Catch COVID 19. This might remain the same till the end of the year (all depends on the Covid 19 Situation and how people act towards it). Which Means that the Bus Operators might Still have Problems even after the Start of the Tourism recovery as the main demand might be on Smaller Vehicles like Sedan Cars and Mini Vans for Private Tours.
What About the Non Vaccinated Tourists, Will they Still need to Quarantine upon arrival?
All the Discussions and announcements regarding Thailand’s Reopening and the Tourism In Thailand Post COVID are only focusing on the Vaccinated Tourists. However, it’s not clear yet whether the Non Vaccinated Tourists will still need to quarantine upon arrival or a PCR Test before Travel and upon arrival will be enough for allowing entry. All of these points will be clarified by the Thailand CCSA when announcing how the Reopening Plan of the country will be implemented.