Thailand has a vision to become a quality tourism destination with tourism competitiveness at the international level, thus enabling the country to generate more income and distribute wealth on a sustainable basis
The vision is contained in the National Tourism Development Plan, 2012-2016, which won Cabinet approval on 15 February 2011, when the National Tourism Policy Committee referred to the inclusion of tourism in the national agenda by the Cabinet, during its meeting in April 2009.
The objective of the National Tourism Development Plan is to move Thailand’s tourism competitiveness up at least 15 places, which would put it among the top five destinations in Asia. The plan also intends to increase tourism income by at least 5 percent during the five-year period.In order to achieve this aim, five strategies have been set for implementation.
The first strategy seeks to develop infrastructure and logistics, linking with domestic and international tourism. The second strategy involves the development and rehabilitation of tourism sites and improvement of various rules and regulations to enhance the country’s potential for accommodating more tourist arrivals.In the third strategy, emphasis will be placed on the development of the creative economy, which is the focus in the 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan, 2012-2016.
New products and services will be launched, while incentives for tourism trade and investment will be offered and human resource development will be emphasized.The fourth strategy seeks to create confidence in Thailand’s good image among visitors, so that the country will welcome a greater number of tourists who will spend more in Thailand.
The fifth strategy calls for the participation of the public sector, civil society, and local administrative organizations in tourism management. At the same meeting, the Cabinet heard a report on Thailand’s tourism situation, presented by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. According to the report, tourism arrivals increased steadily from 2005 to 2010, at 7.5 percent a year on average, from 11.5 million in 2005 to 15.8 million in 2010. During the period, Thailand hosted several world events, such as the International Horticultural Exposition, or Royal Flora Ratchaphruek, and the Songkran Festival.
The country has also been awarded the “Best Tourist Country” and the “Best Country Brand for Value for Money.”Thailand’s tourism earnings over the past five years also grew by 11.9 percent on average, from about 367.4 billion baht in 2005 to almost 586 billion baht in 2010.
The country’s income from tourism came mainly from Europe, followed by East Asia, ASEAN, the Americas, Oceania, South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In terms of tourist arrivals, Malaysia came first, followed by China, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, Laos, the United States, Germany, Russia, Singapore, France, Vietnam, and Taiwan. As for 2011, the number of tourists who will visit Thailand is expected to be 16.5-16.6 million.
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