Thailand eyes 15% jump in tourism revenues

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Thailand expects to welcome 35 million visitors in 2017
Thailand expects to welcome 35 million visitors in 2017

Thailand expects to experience a sharp rise in its tourism revenues next year, as its drive to attract more “quality tourists” pays dividends.

Visitor arrivals to the kingdom have been sluggish in recent months, as the Thai government clamps down on so-called “zero baht tourists”. But the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) says it is confident of achieving a significant rise in tourism revenues in 2018.

“Moving forward, the TAT will draw focus on increasing the number of quality tourists,” the tourism board’s governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, was quoted saying by the Bangkok Post. “We project the tourism industry will bring in THB3.1 trillion (US$90.8 billion) in revenue in 2018, up from THB2.7 trillion this year.”

If achieved, the 2018 total would mark a near-15% increase compared to 2017. Revenues from international tourism are expected to jump 17% to THB2.1 trillion, while domestic revenues are expected to rise 5% to THB1 trillion.

While the growth of Thailand’s tourism sector has slowed in recent months – partially as a result of the zero-baht crackdown and partially due to other factors, including economic issues – visitor arrivals to the country continue to climb. Governor Yuthasak also revealed that Thailand still expects to welcome almost 35 million international visitors in 2017, up from 34m last year, while domestic trips are forecast to increase from 145m to 154m.

The Bangkok Post also reported the TAT as saying that it will focus its marketing efforts on attracting “first-time visitors from second-tier cities in Europe and China”.

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