Thailand tourism targets strong start to 2015

Chinese arrivals are driving Thailand’s tourism industry
Chinese arrivals are driving Thailand’s tourism industry

Thailand’s tourism industry is hoping to start the year on a high, with an expected increase in international visitor numbers and revenue in the first quarter of 2015.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) made the prediction following “strong growth in January”, plus the expected impact of Chinese New Year.

In January 2015, Thailand welcomed a total of 2.65 million overseas visitors and generated approximately THB120 billion (US$3.7bn) in revenue, representing year-on-year growth of 15.9% and 12.7% respectively.

“The strong performance in January can be attributed to the significant growth in tourist arrivals at international airports throughout the kingdom, with China being the largest market,” said Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism & Sports.

“We expect to continue to enjoy a steady increase in the first quarter, especially in February due to the high demand from the China market during this coming Lunar New Year.”

Last month, the TAT kicked off its ‘Discover Thainess’ tourism campaign, to promote both international and domestic tourism in 2015. The minister also said that Thailand would work with its neighbours to “promote intra-ASEAN tourism [and] position the region as a single tourist destination”.

Thailand is targeting 28m visitor arrivals in 2015, which would mark a 13% increase compared to 2014, with tourism revenues expected to rise 16% to THB1.35 trillion.

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