Aiming for the Top Spot
Thailand has set its sights on becoming a premier destination for Muslim tourists from around the world by 2027. This ambitious goal has been announced by deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek. The focus on Muslim tourists is due to their increasing numbers and high purchasing power. In 2022 alone, over 3 million Muslim tourists visited Thailand, a significant increase from the 875,043 visitors in 2017.
The Five-Year Plan
To achieve this goal, the Department of Tourism (DoT) has unveiled a comprehensive five-year plan (2023-2027) aimed at enhancing the service quality of tourism operators to meet international standards. This includes offering halal goods, services, and activities tailored to the needs of Muslim tourists and implementing technology to facilitate their travel experience. The DoT is collaborating closely with related sectors to determine how best to support Muslim visitors and promote Thailand as a Muslim-friendly tourist destination.
The Growing Market for Muslim Tourism
Rachada Dhnadirek stated that the government recognizes the importance of catering to the Muslim tourism market. She expressed hope that the new government will continue this policy. According to the Mastercard-Crescentrating Global Muslim Travel Index 2023, Indonesia and Malaysia currently share the top spot for Muslim tourism, followed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey.
Tourism Boost for Thailand
Since the beginning of 2023, Thailand has welcomed more than 16.472 million international tourists, generating 689 billion baht in revenue for the country. The top five groups of tourists are from Malaysia, China, South Korea, India, and Russia. Between August 7-13, the country received 577,136 foreign tourists, with Japanese and Indian tourists showing significant increases of 84.36% and 22.54% from the previous week, respectively.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry’s Economics Tourism and Sports Division has estimated that Thailand will welcome approximately 570,000 international tourists this week, with the majority coming from East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. As Thailand continues to implement its five-year plan and enhance its offerings for Muslim visitors, it is poised to become a top choice for Muslim travelers from around the globe.