Thailand will achieve its target 20 million tourist arrival by year end, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. Ministry permanent-secretary Suwat Sidthilaw said 15 million tourists entered Thailand from January through September, an 8-per cent increase year-on-year reflecting performance for the first three-fourths of the calendar year.
He said the number of tourists will reach the targeted 20 million, as the last quarter is the high season period, and 900 charter flights will also fly to Thailand.Mr Suwat said the ministry goal for tourism revenue was set to reach Bt2 trillion in 2015.
Urgent issues to be dealt with to reach both objectives include illegal taxis and jet ski problems in the resort island of Phuket.
Other matters to attract more tourists are finding solutions to slow immigration processing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, as well as focusing on new markets such as ASEAN, eastern Europe, Latin America, the Baltic countries, and promoting Thai cultural activities at a world-class level. MCOT online news
tourists visiting Thailand from China reached 1.12m
In addition to revenue increases, Thailand’s arrivals are also hitting new highs.Data from the ministry showed that visitor numbers for the first six months of 2012 were up 7.21% year-on-year, reaching 8.87m. Total arrivals for January stood at 1.9m, which marked a new monthly record, while March had the highest year-on-year growth, at 11.99%. Buoyed by the figures, the ministry now expects total visitor numbers for 2012 to reach 20.5m.
Visitors from other East Asian countries have traditionally dominated Thailand’s tourism industry, with the highest numbers coming from Malaysia. However, according to the TAT, Malaysia moved into second place for the first time as China claimed the top spot for the January to June 2012 period.