Government reports low numbers in airline passengers and hotel bookings for its domestic tourism package

The government’s measures to stimulate domestic tourism has had minimal impact on the number of airline passengers and bookings for hotels. 

The Airports of Thailand (AOT) said on Thursday that the total number of passengers coming through its airports are expected to drop by 72 per cent, down to 38.81 million passengers in 2020, in comparison to the 141 million passengers in 2019. 

With less passengers, low-cost airlines are now experiencing an “over employment” situation, said Nitinai Sirismatthakarn, AOT’s president.

Nevertheless, AOT does expect more passengers over the next two years, predicting a figure of around 55 million in 2021 and 128 million passengers in 2022. 

“The sector should be able to recover by October 2022, or two tears from now,” he said.  

As of July 29, there are about 52,000 passengers each day. The pre-COVID figure sets the rate at 140,000 passengers per day.

Nitinai said with the entry ban still intact, the number of passengers at its airports will continue to remain at 25 per cent with no long-haul flights as 50 per cent of its passengers on domestic flights are usually foreigners.

Hotels

The Ministry of Finance said on Thursday that more than 4.6 million citizens have registered for its domestic tourism package. 

However, the number of bookings at 6,684 participating hotels has only reached 285,530 rooms as of July 29. 

The registration for the “Tiew Pun Sook” campaign, which is valued at 22.4 billion baht, began two weeks ago and will run through July and October. 

The campaign also includes the “Rao Tiew Duay Gun” package which introduces a 40 per cent refund for air tickets up to 1,000 baht. 

Other deals include a 40 per cent co-payment for participating hotel rooms with a limit of 3,000 baht per night per room and an e-voucher of 600 baht per person.

The government is expecting the measures for 5 million people to generate around 70 billion baht worth of economic activity in returns. 

But the low number of hotel bookings is now putting that estimate in doubt.  

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