It’s been though over the past year or so but Thailand expects to enjoy a steady increase in international visitor numbers and revenue in the first quarter of this year, following a strong growth in January. With high demand from the China market for the Chinese New Year holiday period, the promotional efforts by the kingdom’s tourism stakeholders to attract more tourists is paying off.
In January 2015, Thailand welcomed a total of 2.65 million foreign tourists and generated about 120 billion Baht in revenue, representing a year-on-year increase of 15.9 per cent and 12.7 per cent, respectively.
H.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports said, “The strong performance in January can be attributed to the significant growth in tourist arrivals at international airports throughout the kingdom, with China being the largest market. We expect to continue to enjoy a steady increase in the first quarter, especially in February due to the high demand from the China market during this coming Lunar New Year.”
Thailand is home to the world’s largest Chinatown (in Yaowarat, Bangkok), which is also the location for the nation’s biggest Chinese New Year celebrations. But travellers are also invited to enjoy a rich and diverse cultural mix of festivities that take place at key destinations up and down the kingdom, including Phuket, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Trang, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Sawan, Songkhla (Hat Yai), Ayutthaya, Chon Buri (Pattaya), and Chiang Mai.
With Thai Airways offering direct flights into the country with its modern aircraft fleet and the continue improvements to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok the country is not only a great location for tourists but also for business travellers. The country provides ideal facilities for business conferences and trade shows and with the continual improvement to an already impressive airport, as reported in the Bangkok Post, its popularity should continue.
To ensure a steady growth for Thailand’s tourism, the Thai government is working on a number of policies and strategies to attract international visitors to visit the kingdom and to encourage Thai people to take more trips within the country. They include the launch of the “2015 Discover Thainess” campaign, as a way to promote Thailand’s natural and cultural assets among Thais and foreigners as well as to pass on the Thai way of happiness to international visitors.
In addition, last week, the government announced that Monday, 4 May, 2015, will be an extra holiday (ideal for Star Wars fans!) with the objective of promoting tourism as a long holiday, from 1-5 May, would encourage Thais to travel and would boost the economy.
H.E. Kobkarn said, “Thailand will also continue to enhance cooperation across the spectrum of tourism to promote intra-ASEAN tourism as well as position the region as a single tourist destination. And, along with all our ASEAN neighbours, we will continue to forge stronger collaborations with our global partners under the ASEAN plus China, Japan, Republic of Korea cooperation mechanism, or the ASEAN+3 Framework.”
In order to ensure a strong presence for Thai tourism in the global market, Thailand through the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will continue to be presented at all major and important travel trade shows as well as organise regular road shows to update all tourism offers to any potential market.