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Domestic tourism could be the lifeline for COVID-19 hit tourist destinations such as Thailand, says GlobalData

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The impacts from COVID-19 have been felt worldwide with travel restrictions, lockdowns and cancellations of major events. Pre-COVID-19, tourist destinations were predicted to hit 1.6 billion international arrivals globally in 2020, and tourism is a major contributor to the economy, providing 10% to global GDP.

Amber Barnes, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, says: “It is critical for destinations, in particular tourism-reliant destinations, to create strategic actions to be able to recover from COVID-19. These must be implemented now otherwise it will be too late.”

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Case Study: Strategic actions that destinations can take’, reveals that there are destinations already taking action and running marketing campaigns to begin the recovery process. Thai tourism authorities and companies have shown a heavy presence in promoting during the pandemic.

Barnes continues: “Tourists will have doubts regarding traveling internationally, suggesting promotional activity should concentrate on domestic and regional tourism. Thailand Tourism released an international video to show a sense of community and how the country has become one during the pandemic.

“In 2019, Thailand saw 135 million domestic trips, and this is forecast to reach 160 million by 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4%. Although there may be a decrease in 2020 due to the pandemic, domestic tourism has the potential to rise with the increased promotional activity, offering a possible economic boon.”

“Destinations in which lockdowns are being lifted should now be promoting domestic tourism. This is because international tourism is not currently possible, and tourists will want to travel close to home.