KTC Hosted the "Travel Industry Trends Set to Soar on the World Stage" Forum to Determine the Future Direction of Tourism and Knowledge Share with Industry Leaders

27 Jul 2023

KTC hosted the "Travel Industry Trends Set to Soar on the World Stage" forum, projected an integrated tourism outlook: airlines, hotels, and tour operators around the world are starting to recover almost to pre-COVID-19 outbreak and suggested the government lift the collection of excise tax on oil to significantly cut cost. KTC is ready to support the tourism industry in full swing and feels confident that card spending will reach target growth.

KTC Hosted the "Travel Industry Trends Set to Soar on the World Stage" Forum to Determine the Future Direction of Tourism and Knowledge Share with Industry Leaders

Mr. Chotechuang Soorangura, Vice President, the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA) expects about 7.5 million Thai tourists to travel abroad this year. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that the number of international flights worldwide this year will expand by 70% year over year and is expected to grow to the pre-COVID-19 period next year with recommendations on easing restrictions on the collection of the entry fee from inbound tourists, tax collection from outbound tourists, and VAT on outbound taxation. Tourists also have the option to book attractions on their own as there is a rise in travel platforms. In an optimistic lens, these platforms will help promote a larger travel market, while the effect on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and tour operators is seen to be relatively less affected.

Mr. Suksit Suvunditkul, Vice President, Thai Hotels Association Southern Chapter and Thai Hotels Association, foresees from the figures of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports from January 1 to June 25, 2023 that the number of tourists traveling to Thailand totaled 12,464,812, an increase of 539% from last year. Top 5 tourists in terms of number are from Malaysia, China, Russia, South Korea and India. Despite the improvement in tourism, the hotel business remains in recovery and faces many challenges, especially the minimum wage increase that affects business operations and may be a variable in increasing room rates. Hiring also saw a change in format such as using a flat fee payment method based on the amount of work or increased use of technology to replace workers. The volatility of the global economy, exchange rate, and domestic political situation in the country are factors that affect larger hotel businesses and may cause them to lower their prices to encourage occupancy. However, that is not an option for small hotels. If this is the case, it may result in a price war in which operators compete for customers among themselves.

Mr. Korakot Chatasingha, Chief Commercial Officer, of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited, commented that the recovery of the aviation industry still faces several challenges, including the global economic slowdown, many persistent risks within the Thai economy, high costs from rising oil prices, and competition in the airline industry from an increase in flights and new routes. The airline's financial position remains quite fragile even though it has begun to improve due to a recovery in revenue. Therefore, fostering the growth of the airline industry requires collaboration between governments, airlines, and industry stakeholders. The Thai government must position the aviation industry to be effectively competitive with other countries and for it to contribute to the country's economic growth and prosperity.

Ms. Plernpis Kosolutasarn, Director of Event Marketing and Tourism Associate, Bangkok Airways Public Company Limited, believes that the tourism business will grow significantly this year, leading to a clear sign of recovery of the aviation industry. It is expected that air travel in Asia will bounce back to 70 - 80% growth compared to the pre-COVID-19 period. However, the Thai aviation industry still needs government support in three areas: 1. Strengthening the aviation industry as one of the tools for reviving the country's economy through air travel and cargo; 2. Cost reduction whereby the government sector should set a reasonable excise tax collection rate on fuel as it affects ticket pricing, including reducing visa fees to stimulate tourism; and 3. Solving the shortages in aviation personnel affected by the downsizing of the organization during COVID-19 which resulted in the aviation industry being unable to return to service at full capacity compared to the demand for tourism.

Mr. Nitikorn Komkris, Business Development Manager, Thai Vietjet Airline, stated that the aviation industry has become active and competitive again with ticket pricing remaining the important driving force as seen reflected by the temporary suspension of promotional campaigns during the low season. Blockers and obstacles in the aviation industry are human resources at various airports that are insufficient for operation. However, the relevant agencies of each country are expected to support the aviation industry to resume operations. Meanwhile, Thai Vietjet sees opportunities in secondary international routes such as India which has a high economic growth rate and potential travelers. Recent types of travel groups are young travelers while the number of business travelers declined.

Ms. Pattheera Anandchotiphatchara, Head of KTC World Travel Service and Airline Travel Marketing, "KTC" or Krungthai Card Public Company Limited, remarked that overall KTC credit card spending in the tourism industry improved in line with tourism growth, with an increase of 90% in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year and grew by 25% from 2019. The ranking of highest amount spent via the card by categories are airlines, travel agents (both online and offline), hotels, car rentals-trains-travel via transport, and tourist attractions/recreational activities. In addition, with tourism reopening in many countries, members planned to travel abroad even more. The ranking of the most popular countries are Japan, Korea, France, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. The average KTC credit card spending per member in the travel category is 17,000 baht.

KTC World Travel Service, a travel and tourism service center for KTC credit cardmembers,

sets 3 S marketing strategies in motion, consisting of:

  1. Service: provide travel and tourism services that prioritize convenience and reliability by creating awareness through #บินเที่ยวครบจบที่atKTCWorldTravelService.
  2. Segmentation: manage customers with different needs by offering a variety of travel products, expand communication channels in many forms to reach credit cardmembers, and offer solutions to best meet travel needs as much as possible.
  3. Synergy: work with key partners covering the entire travel industry from upstream to downstream, whether it is tourism promotion organizations in various countries, airlines, tour agents, hotels, car rentals, or travel associations, to break through the content clutter through a variety of marketing activities and offer valuable travel privileges for KTC credit cardmembers.


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