Number of foreign visitors lower than expected so far this year

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BANGKOK, Sept  4 — The Ministry of Tourism and Sports admitted that the number of foreign visitors to Thailand was lower than targeted this year, so it will increasingly promote tourism in the country next year.

Suwat Sidthilaw, permanent secretary, said that foreign visitors to Thailand this year should number 25.5 million and generate Bt1.8 trillion worth of national income.

It earlier targeted 28 million foreign visitors and Bt2 trillion in tourism-related national income.

He attributed the failure to meet the target to political problems earlier this year.

The ministry hoped that the national income from tourism should reach Bt2.2 trillion next year as targeted.

It will promote Thai tourism in all dimensions, supporting the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) sector and solve legal and other obstacles to tourism.

Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, president of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), said MICE visitors should number 880,000 and help generate Bt87.2 billion of national revenue this year.

The bureau would increase its promotion of Thailand as an outstanding destination for incentive trips and international conferences next year, he said.