Ms. Janejit Ladpli, Vice President - Travel and Leisure Marketing, "KTC" or Krungthai Card Public Company Limited, stated, "the reopening of Thailand for travel since the beginning of the year has led the trend of cardmember spending with a KTC credit card within the Tourism category to continue to be in an upswing. From the beginning of 2022 until the end of May, the overall card spending in the category has bumped up to 5th place in the overall spending portfolio (from 11th place last year as a result of the COVID-19 situation). KTC also noticed a shift in the behavior of cardmembers which included increased interest in using the services of travel agencies, the willingness to pay more in exchange for convenience, and trending community tourism. Crowded tourist attractions are not favoured while opting to travel with family or large groups are preferred to avoid mingling with other people. Cardmembers also stayed in one place for a long time and avoided frequently changing accommodation or locations. KTC, therefore, has adjusted its marketing strategy by partnering with alliances in the tourism industry to support the tourism trend that is soon to return, as follows:
1) Special privileges for cardmembers that travel with KTC-BANGKOK AIRWAYS and KTC-AGODA MASTERCARD credit cards.
2) Highlighting the uniqueness of KTC FOREVER points which allow cardmembers to redeem points for discounts on travel with travel business partners such as airlines, attraction tickets, and car rentals.
3) The launch of the Travel Hub platform under the concept of 'Domestic Hub' as a go-to destination for tourism promotions. The promotions focus on traveling in both the main city and the secondary city as well as over 252 communities across Thailand. Regarding business partners, KTC has organized the 'Nonstop Travel' campaign to help entrepreneurs in the tourism industry. KTC is providing support in terms of communication channels and promotional benefits.
4) Providing travel services 24 hours a day through KTC World Travel Service as an alternative for partners to expand distribution channels, take care of and provide convenience to KTC credit cardmembers for bookings of flight tickets, travel packages, car rentals, attraction tickets, and visa services."
Ms. Arinchaya Bunjerdsiri, Central Committee, Thai Tourism Promotion Association (TTPA) stated, "this year, domestic tourism started to perform in a better direction after the COVID-19 situation began to ease. The government's 'Tour Tiew Thai' stimulus project that supports domestic travel has offered incentives for tourists who want to travel more. Overall, Thai tourism has improved from the relaxation of travel control measures, the allowance to resume operation of various businesses, and the government's ease of measures controlling domestic travel allowing people to travel more freely."
Mr. Chotechuang Soorangura, Vice President, Thai Travel Agents Association, expressed, "Thai tourists are increasingly interested in traveling abroad after Thailand has closed its borders for two and a half years. However, they haven't bounced back to travel intensely as most countries that are popular travel destinations are not fully open yet. Even without quarantine requirements, there are other measures such as visa application, COVID-19 screening test, travel insurance, and pre-travel registration, that are deterring Thai tourists from deciding to travel. This is coupled with higher travel costs aggravated by the already high costs due to global inflation, rising fuel and food costs from the war, as well as higher airfares because the number of flights is not enough to meet demand. At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic has taken a great hit on the economy and left a lot of people with less money in their wallets.
It is expected that approximately 1.2 million Thai tourists will travel abroad this year from the previous record of 11.2 million people in 2019. The third quarter is the period where Thai tourists travel abroad the least compared to other quarters. It appears that we'll have to rely on the fourth quarter, which is the peak travel season, more countries opening up more cities, and easing measures."
Ms. Jaruwan Pongjaruwat, Director of Education, Education New Zealand, New Zealand Embassy, commented, "Thai students can apply for a New Zealand student visa from August 1, 2022, onwards. This is the first time in two years that the New Zealand government will fully open up to international students. This is earlier than the original plan scheduled for October 2022. All international students who meet the admissions criteria can apply for further study and obtain a full student visa. Education New Zealand has organised special promotions to welcome the opening of the country for those that pay tuition fees with a KTC credit card: earn 4x extra points and have the option to redeem points to pay for tuition fees."
Ms. Siriporn Bunditjirakul, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), Bangkok office, said, "Japan welcomes Thai tourists again with open arms. Thai tourists can enter Japan from June 10. The JNTO along with tour operators from Japan and national tourism organizations have given great importance to the Thai tourism market. We are ready to promote Thais to travel and explore the charms and hidden gems of Japan again."
Ms. Arinchaya Lertwatthanachai, Marketing Manager, Korea Tourism Organization, Bangkok office stated, "The KTO is prepared to welcome tourists from around the world and highlight its selling point: safe travel destinations across the country under the campaign 'Travel to Korea, Begins Again'. The KTO organized special activities including tourist activities, special souvenirs at the Incheon airport, and collaborations with partners in both the public and private sectors, to provide tourists special privileges and discounts on flights, attractions, shops, and much more."
Mr. Nicholas Lim, Market Manager (Malaysia and Brunei), Singapore Tourism Board, added, "The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is in the works to reveal a confidence-building plan to accept travelers who have received full-dose vaccination from around the world. Come and experience creative tourism redefined as 'SingapoReimagine' which allows tourists to visit and experience Singapore from a new perspective beyond imagination with 4 main themes: "Sustainable Tourism-Healthy-Diverse Food Experiences-Amazing Attractions."
Ms. Natthineethiti Phinyapincha, Penang Global Tourism Representative in Thailand, closed, "Malaysia opened its borders to foreign tourists since April 1, 2022. Penang Tourism is in discussions with airlines and businesses to open more travel routes to Penang. In August 2022, Penang Tourism will host roadshows in Bangkok and Hat Yai under the theme of 'Experience Penang' to promote its newly awarded world-class attractions such as Penang Hill, the 130-million-year-old most authentic lush rainforest. It was recently recognised into UNESCO's world network of biosphere reserves along with street art and a famous enclave for local food, leading CNN to rank Penang as one of the 22 best places to visit in 2022."
Source: Krungthai Card