Thailand enjoys tourism recovery
Strong tourist arrivals in January should give Thailand a positive first quarter, the Tourism Authority of Thailand reported Wednesday.
Positive booking trends for the up-coming Chinese New Year holiday suggest there will be a strong resurgence in Chinese travel to Thailand.
In January 2015, Thailand welcomed 2.65 million foreign tourists and generated about THB120 billion in revenue, representing a year-on-year increase of 15.9% in arrivals and 12.7% in revenue.
Minister of Tourism and Sports, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said: “We expect 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.”
Thailand claims to have the world’s largest Chinatown (in Yaowarat, Bangkok), which is also the location for the nation’s biggest Chinese New Year celebrations.
Chinese New Year is also celebrated in Phuket, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Trang, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Sawan, Songkhla (Hat Yai), Ayutthaya, Chon Buri (Pattaya), and Chiang Mai.
Supporting domestic tourism is also an objective of the “2015 Discover Thainess” campaign, as a way to promote Thailand’s natural and cultural assets among Thais and foreigners.
Last week, the government also announced Monday, 4 May will be declared an extra holiday to extend the 1 May Labour Day holiday until 5 May, to promote domestic tourism.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will continue to invest in important travel trade shows as well as organise regular road shows to update the country’s tourism.
In January the TAT had a high-profile presence at the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Myanmar and FITUR in Spain; two show that were platforms for the launch of the “Discover Thainess” campaign.