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Overcrowded Thailand welcomes 34 millionth visitor

Thailand is facing a deluge of Chinese tourists that has strained its airports beyond capacity, but new expansions will take years to ease congestion, meanwhile visitor numbers are projected to almost double

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Ms. Yu-Chen Wang, the 34 millionth arrival to the Kingdom in 2017 was named ‘Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor’ upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport, warmly welcomed by private sector tourism industry representatives and senior executives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Ms. Wang arrived in Bangkok this late morning on Thai Airways International’s Flight TG637 from Taipei, Taiwan. She plans to spend five days with her friends taking in the sights and soaking up local Thai experiences in Bangkok and Ayutthaya.

She was rewarded with two economy-class return tickets from her original destination to Thailand, a voucher for five-night accommodation in Thailand as well as the ‘Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor’ accolades that included a signed certificate from TAT.

Thailand is spending billions to upgrade its infrastructure, open up new islands and cities to travelers, and tone down its image of cheap shopping, hotels and sex that underpinned the industry for half a century.

But the change will take years and even then may fail to keep up with soaring visitor numbers that have given the Land of Smiles a reputation for delays, overcrowding and government crackdowns.

Once out of the terminal building, visitors must contend with the Bangkok traffic, the world’s most congested after Mexico City, according to TomTom NV’s traffic index. Commuting from Bangkok airport to hotels in downtown hotels can take up to five hours.

wrote Bloomberg

At the heart of the upgrade, and the congestion, are Bangkok’s two international airports: Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang, which are running at 40 percent beyond designed capacity.

Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, said 2017 has been an exceptionally good year for Thailand, which is ready to welcome the New Year with a range of exciting tourism events and activities under the action-packed Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018.

“We are grateful to Ms. Wang as well as millions of other visitors for making Thailand their preferred destination. TAT is committed to ensuring their visits are always memorable, and offer them the chance to ‘Open to the New Shades’ of tourism experiences each time they visit the Kingdom.”

The ‘Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor’ campaign dates to June 2015, when it was launched to recognise and reward record-breaking visitors on arrival to the country. With strong support from the public and private sector, the campaign has attracted considerable international attention and enhanced the value of Thailand’s tourism brand image.

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Tourism

Thailand expects at least 40 million travelers in 2020

The Tourism Council of Thailand expects at least 40 million travelers in 2020, a 6% increase compared to 39.7 million foreign visitors last year

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The Tourism Council of Thailand expects at least 40 million travelers will visit Thailand this year, generating some 2.05 trillion baht in revenue, thanks to the government’s tourism promotion measures.

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Thai bank forecasts 23 million Chinese tourists in Thailand by 2030

Chinese tourism to Thailand could increase more than twofold during the next 10 years according to Krung Thai Bank Research Center.

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Chinese tourists in Pattaya

Krung Thai Bank Research Center predicted that in the next 10 years, Chinese tourists will increase by 6.9% per year on average, reflecting the increase of purchasing power of the Chinese middle class.

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Thai Beaches Pricier Than European Resorts

A Thai holiday pricing has increased by about 30 percent in U.S. dollar terms and 40 percent euros over the last five years due to the appreciation of the baht and inflation

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The cost of a holiday in popular beach resorts in Thailand is now on par with or higher than those in Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and Egypt, which are closer to home for Europeans, according to skift.com

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