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Can Tourism rescue Thailand’s Economy ?

According to the minister of tourism, foreign tourist arrivals in Thailand in 2015 totaled 29.88 million and spent a total of about 1.40 trillion baht in the country, while Thai tourists spent 790 billion baht in 2015.

Olivier Languepin

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According to the minister, foreign tourist arrivals in Thailand in 2015 totaled 29.88 million. Thailand expects to generate 2.41 trillion baht in tourism revenue in 2016, a 4.7% increase from an earlier target.

The Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Dr. Yuthasak Supasorn identified a new campaign “Thai Chuai Thai” (Thai Supports Thai) that will reward Thai travellers through a monthly lucky draw worth 1 million Baht, while adding an even bigger reward quarterly to encourage Thais to travel in the country.

The campaign details will be released soon ahead of the campaign’s launch in February. It will extend to December.

“We are now discussing with the airlines and hotels to offer discounts to encourage Thais to travel in the country particularly long-weekend holiday offers and specific travel packages to tap niche markets; such as, government officials, corporate incentives, students, retirees and sports enthusiasts.”

he added.

Thailand’s tourism should generate 2.41 trillion Baht in revenue this year, revised upwards from an earlier projection of 2.3 trillion Baht. Of that total, 1.56 trillion Baht will come from international markets and 0.85 trillion Baht from domestic travel.

In 2015, Thailand generated 2.23 trillion Baht of which 1.44 trillion Baht came from international markets and 0.79 trillion Baht from the domestic sector.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said her ministry would promote sports along with community-based events and water tourism.

Asean members have potential to grow, particularly Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, she said.

The ministry will ask international airlines to increase flight frequencies from neighbouring countries.

Mrs Kobkarn will meet with Airports of Thailand Plc about reducing landing fees for airlines.”We hope the number of tourist arrivals from Asean members will be higher than the projection of 8.3 million this year,” she said.

According to the minister, foreign tourist arrivals in Thailand in 2015 totaled 29.88 million and spent a total of about 1.40 trillion baht in the country, while Thai tourists spent 790 billion baht in 2015.

Throughout 2015, tourism was the only engine driving an economy facing headwinds from public spending, domestic consumption and exports.

A brighter outlook for 2016

The WTTC forecasts that the tourism’s contribution to GDP will rise 6.4 per cent per year, to hit Bt4.497 trillion in 2025. The number of jobs in the industry is also expected to rise in that time, by 4.6 per cent per year, to 3.476 million – a whopping 8.6 per cent of the total workforce.

Based on these forecasts, Thailand is in the global top 20 in terms of long-term growth – ranked 15th among 184 countries.

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