Saturday, August 24, 2019

Stronger baht not keeping tourists away

Jul 16. 2019
Weerasak Kowsurat, outgoing Tourism and Sports Minister
Weerasak Kowsurat, outgoing Tourism and Sports Minister
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By THE NATION

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Despite the appreciation of the baht, Thailand has attracted as many as 21.08 million tourists in the first half of this year, marking a 0.81 per cent growth year on year, outgoing Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat said.

He added that the number of arrivals was on a steady rise for the first four months, but dropped by 1.03 per cent in May before picking up again in June and July. 

During the same period last year, Thailand had about 20.9 million travellers. 

“The Thai tourism industry has a foundation that is solid enough to cater to many uncontrolled risks, such as a strong baht, which has made things more expensive. However, we have also learned that the average income earned from foreign tourists is still higher than the number of overall travellers entering the country,” Weerasak said.

He said this does not include the revenue generated from the government’s “Thais Travel Thailand” campaign launched to promote tourism in secondary provinces. 

“We should expand the structure of the Thailand tourism market, covering more markets and destinations, as well as those who benefit from the sector,” Weerasak added. 

He went on to say that the number of arrivals from Asean countries matched those from China, while the number of arrivals from South Asia, mainly India and Nepal, also rose significantly. Arrivals from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan also showed good growth, he said. 

“We should launch new campaigns to attract travellers from different provinces of China as well as from Eastern Europe and Central Asia,” Weerasak said. 

He also said that promotions should be offered for niche travellers, such as family groups as well as people who love sports and adventure, and those who are health conscious.

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