Thailandis one of the major tourism hubsnot only in Southeast Asia but in the world. Some of the significant places which attract a massive number of tourists are Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi Province.The industry creates ample business opportunities in this country. Travel-tech and other startups are booming in the current decade due to both reasons- the vast tourism industry itself and the effort and conducive environment made by the government.
Tourism in Thailand
In terms of GDP- The travel and tourism industry is playing the most important and significant role in the economy of Thailand. As per the NationalEconomic and Social Development Council (NESDC, formerly known asNESDB)tourism industry of the country accounted for approximately one fifth (approx. 18.4%) of GDP in the year 2019. The increase in the tourism industry in contribution to GDP is almost one third in comparison to the last four years.
In terms of foreign visitors- The number of international travelers in the country in the year 2019 was approximately 39.8 million. If you compare this figure with the beginning of the twenty-first century, i.e., 2001, then the increase is 400 percent.
This is huge. The rise in the number of visitors in Thailand is continuous, with few exceptions in 2009 and 2014. So, there are ample of opportunities there if you wish to have startups in the travel and tourism industry.
In terms of ChineseVisitors- One more important you should more at this stage- Chinese visitors constitute the most. As per data from 2019, the total number of Chinese visitors was 10.99 million, which was approx. Twenty-eight percent of the total visitors in Thailand?So, if you want to start business or startups related to travel and tourism, you can keep Chinese visitors in the center of your ideas.
In terms of Revenue- In 2019, the tourism industry of Thailand has generated 3.06 trillion baht, out of which 1.96 trillion baht (4% up in comparison to last year) from international traveler and 1.1 trillion baht (1% up with respect to the previous year) from domestic trips.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is expecting revenue of 3.18 trillion baht (105 billion US dollars) from the tourism industry in 2020. TAT expects a positive surge of traveler from Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, CLMV countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam), India, Spain, the US, Israel, and Eastern Europe. The things will be more helpful for the tourism industry after stability in the market of China, the Middle East, Singapore, and other countries.
Therefore in terms of starting businesses and startups related to the tourism industry seems promising and has enormous growth in the near future. If you have ideas, you can convert it into business by keeping the above data in your mind.
Assistance By Government For Startups
The government of Thailand understands the importance of tourism for the economy and sustainable growth of the country. They create a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to start a business in the industry. The ease of doing business is not only for citizens of the country but for foreign investors too.
There is a significant shift in the industry of Thailand from manufacturing and heavy industries to the value-based economy. The government vision ‘Thailand 4.0’ – 20 years plan which aims to make a country out of the middle-income trap. By this vision, the government supports startups to flourish in every possible way.
TCG Credit Guarantee Program
TCG stands for Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation, a financial institution under the Ministry of Finance, Government of Thailand. This institution doesn’t provide credit to startups, but their incentives encourage the other financial institutions to offer a greater amount of credit to startups as well as SMEs. In the fiscal year 2019-2020, the ministry of finance approved 8 billion baht got credit to startups under this scheme with the credit guarantee period of up to 10 years. Below is the distribution of credit.
- If you are an Entrepreneur or having startups or SMEs, you can get 5 million baht loans under this scheme.
- It goes up to 10 million baht for juristic Entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs.
- If you are an individual with innovative ideas, you can get 10 million baht.
- And 40 million baht for juristic individuals with innovations.
The last date for submission of the application is the 25th of February 2021.
This program is operated by the National Innovation Agency (NIA), a public organization under the Ministry of Science and Technology. The organization is primarily responsible for creating an innovation ecosystem in the country with the help of other organizations in several fields such as technology, academia, finance, investment, and industry.
The credit system under this organization has been categorized under two groups- Thematic Innovation and Open Innovation. The travel and tourism-related startups are falling under the category of Thematic Innovation. If you are an entrepreneur or planning tostart SMEs or startups of travel-related, you can get financial assistance of up to 5 million baht with specific terms and conditions, as highlighted below.
- SMEs defined by the Ministry of Industry are eligible to get assistance.
- This assistance is only for the juristic person registered in Thailand and having 51 percent of the share capital held by a Thai national.
- Any other organization shall not support the project for which you are going to seek help under this program.
- Those who have bankrupt earlier, as per the judgment of the civil court, or convicted in any criminal cases, are not eligible to apply under this program.
Major Field for Startups in the Tourism Industry
You can have any innovative ideas which you can transform into the form of business or startups. In this era of technology, you can start travel tech or any other related startups. Here are some significant fields.
- Travel- Travel Agency, Transportation.
- Lodging- Hotel, Resorts, Motels, conference centers, casinos, etc. you can also act as a mediator to reach the people at the lodging place.
- Food and Beverage
- Retail Store
- Entertainment and activities.