As winter approaches in London, residents are reeling with news of the latest price hikes in their power bills.
The war in Ukraine, Russia’s control of gas supplies, and the global
oil cartel’s decision to cut production will mean only one thing for the
UK and much of Europe — higher fuel costs for heating frigid homes.
In Australia, floods have submerged whole towns in parts of the
country. Homes are being sandbagged as rivers overflow and water levels
In the United States, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has driven up food
and fuel prices, giving momentum to strengthening economic headwinds.
Across continents, people are ready to pack up their troubles and
head to places where the climate is better, and the living is easy.
Welcome to Phuket, where the sun is shining, hotel prices remain
relatively low and a cocktail before dinner at a beachside restaurant is
more than ever a compelling attraction for visitors.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has been quick to take
advantage of the opportunity to target visitors who are ready to escape
winter and spiralling prices in Europe.
Sure, it will cost more to fly to Thailand from most parts of the
world, but Thailand believes the extra cost of an airfare will be
compensated by the saving on hotels, restaurants and tours.
In a bid to encourage high-spending visitors to stay longer, Thai
authorities have introduced a new version of a long-term resident (LTR)
visa. Thailand is inviting — among others — skilled professionals,
wealthy individuals and retirees to make the kingdom their second home
and stay for up to 10 years.
The tourism authority hopes that both long-haul and short-haul
visitors will extend their stays by at least 20% next year, generating
an increase in spending per trip of about 30%.
"We have to focus more on the quality. What that means is the ones
who can come frequently and the ones who come to Thailand and stay
longer," said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of TAT.