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Thailand Targets Wealthy Tourists From Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan

Published: October 4, 2022 at 4:12 pm

tourist in white beach sand thailand

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said that travelers from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan show interest in visiting Thailand after the Visa on Arrival was temporarily extended to 30 days and fully reopen its borders to all foreign tourists starting October 1.

Starting October 30, Air Astana will start providing direct flights daily from Almaty, Kazakhstan, to Phuket and Bangkok. Sunday Airlines will also launch additional flights from key cities in Kazakhstan like Almaty, Astana, Kostanay, Uralsk, and Shymkent to Phuket and U-Tapao throughout the winter.

“Tour operators and Kazakh airline said last month that they want Thailand to remove all visa restrictions and charges for Kazakh travelers this year so that they can advertise Thailand during the high season” 

– Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports

In 2019, Thailand welcomed around 56,000 tourists from Kazakhstan and generated approximately 3.46 billion baht in tourism income.

In the first 9 months of 2022, Thailand welcomed around 22,000 Kazakhstani travelers. The government expects that number will reach 55,000 by the end of the year.

Phiphat said that Uzbek tourists have high purchasing power and are eligible for visas.  However, there are no direct flights from the country to Thailand. Uzbekistan Airways is getting ready to restart international flights after being suspended due to the pandemic. 

Tourists from Uzbekistan who want to visit Thailand need to fly from Tashkent or Samarkand to Almaty, Istanbul, Dubai, or the United Arab Emirates and then connect to a flight to Thailand.

In 2019, about 19,000 travelers from Uzbekistan visited Thailand. The first 8 months of 2022 saw only 2,496 Uzbek tourists arrive in the country.

In response to lower-than-anticipated reservations, the ministry has decreased its tourist income projection for this year from 1.5 trillion baht to 1.28 trillion baht.  Next year, the ministry expects at least 2.4 trillion baht in earnings from 20 million foreign tourists and 160 million in local tourism.

SOURCE: The Nation

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