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TAT eyes Olympic dividend

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) seeks to capitalise on Japanese renting out their homes during the Tokyo Olympics this summer, hoping to draw them to Thailand while their country is flooded with Olympics attendees.

Sports tourism is a focus for TAT and it wants to capitalise on Japanese visitors keen to spend their holidays doing healthy activities.

The crush of demand from international spectators may lead some Japanese homeowners to rent out their places as the local government seeks solutions to cope with insufficient accommodation, said TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

The price of hotels during the games is increasing and most places in Tokyo are fully booked. This situation led the government to exempt short-term rental hosts from the national lodging law.

The 2020 Olympic Games are scheduled from July 24 to Aug 9, and Thailand plans to persuade international tourists to visit Thailand after the event.

It will send invitations to medallists in popular sports to visit tourism destinations here, with the hope of promoting sports tourism in the country.

During the Games, many elderly people will be ready to take a long trip to Thailand, keen for a more serene environment away from the estimated 10 million visitors during the competitions.

Seksan Sripraiwan, director of TAT’s Tokyo office, said Chiang Mai, which boasts plenty of local activities, is a preferred destination among Japanese long-stay tourists.

The 30-day visa exemption is another advantage Thailand can offer this group.

“The top four segments of Japanese travellers in Thailand are golfers, silver-aged tourists, business travellers and millennials,” he said.

Thailand is a preferred destination for Japanese golfers because of the similarity of layouts compared with golf courses in the US and professional caddies offering unique Thai hospitality.

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