TAT expects 14 million arrivals in 2010

June 30, 2009 by  
Filed under TAT Release

tat_2The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects the industry to improve next year, generating income of 959 billion baht and attracting 14 million foreign arrivals. Of this income, 530 billion baht would come from foreign tourists, with domestic tourism contributing 429 billion through 90 million trips – up from 388 billion and 87 million trips last year.

The projection is based on a stable political situation, said Santichai Euachongprasit, TAT deputy-governor for international marketing. TAT now expects Thai tourism to recover in the fourth quarter and to return to normal in 2010. “The recovery in the fourth quarter may help 2009 foreign arrivals to exceed 13 million. However, we just cut this year’s arrival target to 12 million last month,” he said. TAT programmes to promote Thailand in target countries will include ad campaigns in international media such as CNN in the next few months. The authority expects the campaign to bear fruit late this year. TAT has set a 1.2-billion-baht budget for international marketing. Thai tourism has faced many problems including the global downturn, H1N1 flu and local political unrest, Mr Santichai told tourism operators yesterday. But the situation will get better next year when major countries recover. “However, co-operation between TAT and the private sector is a must for the industry to achieve the target,” he said. Anake Srishevachart, president of the Thai-Japanese Tourist Association, is optimistic about the target of 14 million foreign visitors next year. He forecast that Chinese visitors will head next year’s tourists, with between 1.1-1.2 million arrivals, up from 700,000 to 800,000 this year. “The roadshow to China by Prime Minister Abhisit will help this market recover in the fourth quarter,” he said. China lifted its travel warning on Thailand after the prime minister’s visit. Japanese visitors are set to rank second with one million arrivals in 2010, up from 850,000 this year. “A proactive promotion campaign for Japan needs to be conducted as soon as possible in order to push the market to recover in the coming high season,” said Mr Anake. Foreign arrivals this year will not meet 12 million as projected by TAT, he said. During the first six months, arrivals are expected to total about 7 million and it is unlikely that another 5 million will come in the latter half. But not all potential new markets are promising. Russian tourists are travelling and spending less. But the Middle East looks more hopeful with a 10% rise in arrivals to 330,000 this year. The government also agreed to extend the exemption of visa fees for tourists until March 4, 2010. The exemption will apply to all applicants at all international airports in Thailand.

Source : Bangkok Post

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