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Holidays in Thailand are becoming less attractive for residents of many European countries and residents of the United States. As a result, the number of European and American tourists in the main resorts of Thailand has been declining for several consecutive years both in quantitative terms and as a percentage of the number of foreign tourists in Thailand. The largest tourist operators in Asia point out three main reasons that make Western tourists choose other countries for vacation instead of Thailand, which 5-10 years ago was very popular and had practically no alternative in the winter season.
The first reason for the decline in interest in Thailand from Western tourists was a noticeable strengthening of the Thai baht to the Euro and the US dollar. Today, for one USD, tourists receive only 30 THB. Over the past few years, the Thai baht has strengthened by more than 15% against the US dollar (over the past year alone, this figure has exceeded 6%). A similar situation is with respect to the European currency, the exchange rate of which has fallen even more. Despite the relative price stability in Thailand, the general standard of living in the country has grown in recent years and this could not but lead to an increase in prices for certain types of goods and services.
Most of all in Thailand, the services of 5-star hotels, which are most attractive to western tourists, have risen in price. So, the average cost of 5-star resorts located on the first line of the sea on the islands of Phuket and Koh Samui increased to 500 USD per day for a standard room with breakfast. Even when using the smart hotel search, the price of accommodation may be higher than the prices of similar rooms in the sea resorts of Greece, Italy and Spain. And US residents can find luxury all-inclusive hotels in Mexico at a lower price. Moreover, these countries are located only in 1-2 hours of flight, while to Thailand you need to make a long flight.
In winter, more and more Europeans choose ski resorts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France. Such a vacation, always considered elite, still turns out to be cheaper than a vacation in Thailand. And the average cost of the best resort hotels in Egypt and Turkey in general is 150-200 dollars lower. As a result, even a short 7-day vacation in these countries saves a significant amount of money. In current time a lot of expensive hotels in Thailand, who believed in the endless increase in the number of tourists to Thailand, are currently unable to fill half the number of rooms, but do not want to reduce prices.
The second reason that negatively affected the number of European tourists in Thailand is the country’s rapid development. The rapid development of the economy and the main island resorts led to the fact that they lost their identity and turned into places of mass recreation, another developed Asian country. A large-scale survey of European tourists showed that many of them still fly to Phuket and Koh Samui, but prefer to go further on the quiet and calm islands of the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.
Many Europeans even admitted that this is their last visit to Thailand and in the future they plan to travel to other countries of the region: Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, which over the past few years has become the main competitor of Thailand in the SEA region. It is this country that offers a comparable level of comfort in hotels, boasts a large number of picturesque and distinctive regions, a level of security and much lower prices for hotels, souvenirs, transportation, food and entertainment.
The third reason for the decline in Thailand’s popularity among western tourists was the rapid growth in the number of Asian tourists, primarily from China and India. Tourists from China have long reached the first place among the guests of the Kingdom of Smiles. As a result, the local tourism infrastructure is increasingly adapting to the interests and preferences of the Chinese (sometimes to the detriment of citizens of other countries). Not without reason, Europeans consider Chinese tourists to be too noisy and not very comfortable neighbors on the beaches and in hotels.
The Ministry of Tourism of Thailand is aware of the problems observed in the industry and is trying to find new ways to attract foreign tourists, including through the next cancellation of fees for visa fees for citizens of individual countries. At the same time, one of the main reasons – the strengthening of the Thai baht, still can not be solved. But this not only affects the cost of leisure in the country, but also becomes one of the most important factors in the onset of a recession in the country. This year alone, Thailand has closed hundreds of large enterprises and factories, investors are rapidly cutting investment and withdrawing capital from Thailand.
I am also very saddened by the strengthening of the Thai baht, because only this factor makes rest more expensive by about 10%. Probably, I love Thailand too much to soon change it to some other country. Moreover, I have never lived in expensive 5-star hotels in Thailand’s island resorts. With Hotellook, I can still find inexpensive decent 2-3-star hotels, in modern apartments you can still live for bonuses (for free), and a flight to Thailand in any case will be cheaper than to any other Asian country, especially when there is an opportunity Find an airline ticket at the best price through a smart airline search. And when you are not traveling to Thailand for the first time, you can always spend less than during your first trip.
And how do you feel about the fact that holidays in Thailand have become much more expensive? Will you continue to come to this country or try to find another paradise on our planet?
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