Thailand recorded 19 million tourist arrivals in 2011, an increase of 19.84 per cent year-on-year, said Department of Tourism Director-General Supol Sripan.
Increased tourism around the world contributed to the recovery of the global economy and the popularity of tourist attractions in Thailand continued to make an impact on arrivals in Thailand.
Mature markets in eastern Asia and Europe rose 26.56 per cent and 11.40 per cent respectively. In May 2011, tourist numbers grew by as much as 70.26 per cent but in November, tourist numbers dropped by 17.92 per cent before improving in December.
The country realised income of Bt734.59 billion, an increase of 23.92 per cent, compared to last year.
Tourism is likely to grow constantly in 2012 if the domestic political situation is in order. The number of tourists is expected around 20.5-20.8 million. (MCOT online news)
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Thai tourism industry are jointly pursuing ‘green initiatives’ in an effort to maintain the delicate balance between tourism promotion and environmental protection to ensure long-term sustainability.
Promoted under the Seven Greens concept developed by TAT, the initiative to protect and preserve the environment and restore environmental quality by raising environmental awareness and by promoting increased Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) involves the active participation and support of all tourism stakeholders. These include state agencies involved in promoting tourism, private sector tourism operators and tourism-related service providers, as well as public and non-governmental organizations, communities, media representatives and individual tourists — both Thai and foreign.
The Thai tourism industry firmly believes that efforts to protect and preserve the environment are consistent with Thailand’s quest to achieve sustainable tourism.
“The growing concern worldwide over global warming and climate change has led to dramatic changes in consumer attitudes, travel seasonality and other travel patterns and trends,” notes Ms Sasi-Apha Sukontarat, Executive Director of TAT’s Product Promotion Department.
“It is influencing individual choices regarding travel destinations, the length of trips and other factors such as the availability of environmentally-friendly modes of transport and environmentally-responsible service providers,” she explains.
“With an ever-increasing number of well-informed and discerning world travellers looking to significantly reduce their carbon footprint by opting for environmentally-friendly travel and tourism related products and services, the adoption of a green agenda for Thailand ensures that the destination and the Thai tourism industry retain international competitiveness. By keeping pace with the latest trends in global travel, this strengthens Thailand’s global image as a dynamic and relevant ‘brand.’”
By embracing green initiatives, the Thai tourism industry is communicating its stand and positioning the Thai kingdom as an environmentally-responsible player on the world stage. The Thai tourism industry has voiced strong support for global efforts to minimize and offset the effects of global warming which are causing severe climate change in various parts of the world.
“As the national tourism organization (NTO), TAT recognizes the significance of these shifts in lifestyle preferences and travel trends. It has therefore launched a concerted effort to promote environmentally-friendly and energy-saving tourism programmes and travel packages designed to create as little negative impact to the environment as possible,” says Executive Director Sasi-Apha.
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