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Thailand to target high-spending groups like Indian weddings to increase tourism
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Thailand hopes to boost its tourism revenue to between $16 billion-$19 billion by year-end, by targeting high-spending groups like Indian wedding parties and honeymooners, a senior tourism official said.
Famous for its white-sand beaches and nightlife, Thailand hopes to tap into "pent-up demand" from the multi-billion dollar Indian wedding industry, Tourism Authority of Thailand deputy governor Siripakorn Cheawsamoot told Reuters in an interview this week.
"Data from the last two years showed that many Indian couples got married, but couldn't find honeymoon locations … or held back on getting married because they wanted to have their reception overseas including in Thailand," he said on Tuesday.
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Foreign tourism revenue from January to Aug. 28 came in at $5.1 billion from 4.2 million visitors, and 10 million arrivals are expected for the full year.
The Southeast Asian country relies heavily on tourism as a driver of economic growth. Foreign arrivals plummeted to just 428,000 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with a record of nearly 40 million in 2019 when tourism made up 12% of GDP.