28 million tourists expected to visit Thailand this year


BANGKOK, Feb 2 – Despite the ongoing enforcement of martial law, many foreigners seem to better understand the situation in Thailand and the number of foreigners visiting the kingdom in 2015 is expected to rise to  28 million, said Charoen Wangananont, secretary-general of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA). 

Mr Charoen said the number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand this year should increase from about 26 million last year as the Tourism Authority of Thailand organised the ‘2015 Discover Thainess Year’ in January and the  government wants to focus on quality rather than quantity of  tourists visiting the country.

What tourist industry operators want to see is a calm domestic political situation for the next five years, with the law being fully enforced, he said.

Martial law can be lifted in six months or before the next general election is held, said Mr Charoen, adding that this could further help boosting the industry.

Mr Charoen said he is optimistic that the number of tourists visiting Thailand this year would increase as tourist business operators held a roadshow  in Indonesia, inviting its more than 260 million population to visit Thailand.

Chinese tourists currently rank first with the largest number of tourists visiting Thailand, followed by Malaysian, Japanese, Russian, and South Korean. British and German tourists form the largest number from Europe visiting the kingdom.