Yohana Belinda (The Jakarta Post)
Tue, September 20, 2022
Thailand’s travel industry is recovering with sustainable tourism plans and destinations offering halal food.
As the pandemic recedes and tourist travel becomes more flexible again, holidaymakers are planning to visit Thailand – whether alone or with family. Growing optimism for Thailand tourism in a country where tourism contributes 20 percent of gross domestic product is evident in the massive return of tourists since the country dropped PCR testing requirements for vaccinated tourists from May 1.
So hopes Tanes Petsuwan, deputy director for international marketing in Asia and South Pacific at the Tourism Authority of Thailand. He explained that Thailand – the tourism hub for Southeast Asia – is ready to welcome more tourists, especially Indonesian visitors. Indonesian tourists play a significant role in Thailand’s tourism sector, with just over 80,000 tourist arrivals from January 1st to September 6th.
“We are currently developing community-based tourism, [which is] beneficial for tourists to understand nature,” Petsuwan said during a media luncheon at Raffles Hotel, Jakarta on September 15.
Petsuwan explained that Thailand has sustainable tourism in mind, noting that giving back to nature is important for everyone. Tourists on Koh Tao island, for example, are encouraged to work with locals to collect plastic waste littering the beach.
Petsuwan also said Thailand’s tourist attractions have more to offer as the country explores more of its northern region such as Hua Hin as an alternative to Koh Samui. Located a three-hour drive from Bangkok, Hua Hin offers a haven for tourists looking to escape the crowded areas.
Another popular family vacation destination, according to Petsuwan, is Chiang Mai in the northern region, also known as the City of Art.
Thailand is an unmissable culinary destination. Petsuwan mentioned that halal food is more accessible for tourists, especially in the southern region of Thailand, like Phuket.
“The people living in the southern region are predominantly Muslim and have a similar culture. [These destinations are] now accessible for tourists to find halal food.”
“Since Thailand opened its border in January, we have welcomed over 5 million international tourists; We hope that at least 10 million total tourists will flock to Thailand by the end of the year,” concluded Petsuwan.