Plans to persuade more Japanese to visit Thailand

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BANGKOK, Dec 29 —  The number of Japanese tourists visiting Thailand in 2014 declined considerably in relation to revious years, but Thailand plans to encourage more Japanese to tour this country in the coming year, according to Anek Srichivachart, president of the Thai-Japanese Tourism Promotion Association. 

Mr Anek, also vice president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), said the number of Japanese tourists visiting Thailand this year declined slightly from 2013 due to political turbulence in Thailand earlier this year.

There are signs that tourists from Japan visiting Thailand in 2015 would increase as several plans have been prepared, he said.

The plans include launching public relations activities informing the Japanese to better understand the situation in Thailand, inviting senior executives, tourism marketing and sales officers to visit Thailand, and to conduct roadshows in Japan through cooperation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Conversely, however, the number of Thai tourists visiting Japan this year rose sharply to about 700,000 compared to only 100,000 in 2013.

On tourism business in Thailand, Sugree Sithivanich, deputy TAT governor, said more Thais are expected to travelling during the upcoming New Year celebrations. Eighty to 90 per cent of hotel rooms nationwide have been booked.

Expressing satisfaction, Mr Sugree said that this is probably due to the five-day holidays, starting December 31, which has persuaded more Thais to travel. He said this is a positive sign for the tourism business in 2015.