The tourism industry bounced back in Thailand, with an 18% rise in foreign tourist arrivals and a 78% hotel occupancy rate in the first half of February.
Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said the improved political situation helped attract more visitors to the country.
She said Monday that international arrivals hit 1.4 million between February 1 and 15, representing a 18% increase compared with same period last year.
Meanwhile domestic tourism is forcasted to grow 10% this year with local travelers rising to 155 million and injecting around 800 million baht to the economy.
Association of Domestic Travel says the tourism industry in the first quarter 2015, will see a 3% growth in domestic travelers and 10% in the second quarter following several campaign activities to promote travel on Chinese New Year, Valentines’ and Song Kran days.
It cited the lively overall tourism atmosphere during the New Year festival this year that spurred growth in spending of around 30 billion baht to economy.
The association said the long holiday period during the New Year stimulated higher domestic travel growth than the previous year, mainly due to decreasing energy prices which led to increasing spending for consumption.
It said there had been 20 million Thai tourists traveling during the long holiday, with the northern region being the most popular tourist destinations.
2.65 million foreign tourists in Jan. 2015
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.
Thailand forecasts 28.5 to 29 million foreign tourists to visit the country this year said the Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul. An upswing compared to 2014’s arrivals, down to 24,7 millions.
The number of tourists visiting Thailand fell by 6.6 per cent in 2014 from the previous year because of the kingdom’s political tensions and a drop in the value of the Russian rouble, but officials think the country should recover quickly in 2015.
Some 24.7 million tourists visited Thailand in 2014 compared to 26.7 million in 2013, official figures showed. The drop in tourist numbers also resulted in 5.8 per cent less revenue, according to Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavarangkul.
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