Foreigners enjoy themselves at the monthly full moon party on Koh Phangan in Surat Thani, Thailand.
(Photo: bangkokpost.com)

Bangkok (VNA) – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will use music and outdoor events to attract first-time visitors, millenials and female travellers from Japan, targeting 2 million arrivals from the East Asian country who will spend 85 billion THB (USD) by 2020.

According to Saratwadee Asasupakit, director of the TAT’s Osaka office, the target group is females aged 20-34, a large market of 9.54 million people in Japan.

LGTBT tourism is another major market in Japan, with some 11.2 million people reporting difficulties and objectives from conservative segments of society when they travel.

“TAT will promote its ‘Go Thai, Be Free’ campaign among LGBT people for travel and to experience nightlife in a gay-friendly destination,” she said.

Thailand was Japan’s fourth biggest outbound market last year, with 80 percent of tourists being repeat visitors, the majority of them male and seniors.

Pattaraanong Na Chiangmai, director of the TAT’s Tokyo office, said incentives given to first-time travellers from Japan are under discussion. There are 29 million Japanese who hold passports, accounting for only 24 percent of the country’s population.

There are some 1,000 monthly flights from Japan to Thailand, with a 320,000-seat capacity available from both full service and budget carriers.

Meanwhile, Roongtip Wongpatikarn Kimura, director of the TAT’s Fukuoka office, said outbound tourism in Japan might slow during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, running from July to September 2020, as more Japanese will stay at home and watch events rather than travel overseas.

She suggested Thai travel companies monitor consumption tax in Japan, which is set to rise to 10 percent from 8 percent in October. The hike is expected to make Japanese more price-conscious and affect decisions about travel.

The TAT estimates 1.8 million Japanese will visit Thailand this year, generating 79.7 billion THB in tourism income.

Tourism is a major source of revenue for Thailand, worth about one-fifth of the economy. Meanwhile, earning from foreign tourists contributes around 12 percent to the GDP.

Last year, the number of foreign visitors to Thailand reached all-time high of 38.27 million people, up 7.5 percent from 2017.

The TAT has forecast around 40.2 million foreigners will visit the country in 2019, and 42 million in the following year.-VNA