Thailand’s Tailored Efforts to Attract Muslim Tourists

  • Thailand aims to become a top Muslim tourist destination by 2027, focusing on their growing numbers and purchasing power, with over 3 million Muslim tourists visiting last year.
  • The Department of Tourism unveils a five-year plan to enhance services, including halal offerings, to attract Muslim tourists and elevate Thailand’s position among leading Muslim-friendly destinations.

Thailand’s goal is to establish itself as a premier destination for Muslim tourists by 2027, as stated by Rachada Dhnadirek, deputy government spokeswoman. She highlighted the rising numbers and considerable purchasing power of Muslim tourists, making them a primary focus for the country’s tourism sector.

Last year, over 3 million Muslim tourists visited Thailand, a substantial increase from 875,043 in 2017, according to Department of Tourism (DoT) data. To enhance its appeal to Muslim tourists, the DoT has unveiled a five-year plan (2023–2027) aimed at elevating the quality of tourism services to meet global standards. This involves offering halal products, services, and activities tailored to Muslim visitors and implementing technology for traveler convenience.

Close collaboration with related sectors is guiding the DoT in identifying ways to support Muslim tourists and promote Thailand as a Muslim-friendly travel destination. Ms. Rachada envisions that this strategic plan will position Thailand among the leading destinations for Muslim tourists within the next five years.

She emphasized, “The government sees the importance of opening for the Muslim tourism market,” expressing hope that this policy will continue under the new government.

The Mastercard-Crescent rating Global Muslim Travel Index 2023 ranks Indonesia and Malaysia jointly in the first place, followed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey.

Meanwhile, Thailand has welcomed more than 16.472 million international tourists since January 1, contributing 689 billion baht to the country’s economy, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry’s Economics Tourism and sports division.

Thailand sees its highest influx of tourists from Malaysia (2,581,251), China (2,027,823), South Korea (982,328), India (947,431), and Russia (884,839). Notably, from August 7–13, the nation saw an influx of 577,136 foreign tourists, with Japanese and Indian tourists increasing by 84.36% and 22.54% respectively compared to the previous week. The ministry anticipates welcoming approximately 570,000 international tourists this week, primarily from East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

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