Special Report: TAT expects tourism to bounce back soon


The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) believes that Thailand’s tourism industry will rapidly bounce back after having been affected by political crisis. 

Speaking at the Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2014, at the IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, TAT Governor Thawatchai Arunyik said that while there has been a decline in tourist arrivals from a number of short-haul markets, many others are still doing well.

For example, from January to April 2014, arrivals from European countries rose by 7.63 percent to 2.76 million. In April, arrivals from the Middle East, Oceania, Europe, and North America also saw an increase.

He noted that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) had moved quickly to relax a nationwide curfew. The curfew was lifted entirely in the key tourist destinations – Phuket, Samui, and Pattaya. All tourist businesses and services especially nighttime entertainment venues in the three destinations have resumed their normal services.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has announced plans to propose that the NCPO lift the curfew in eight more tourist destinations, namely Krabi, Phang Nga, Trang, Hat Yai, Ko Chang, Cha-am, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai.

Mr. Thawatchai said that the Thailand Travel Mart Plus had attracted a total of 314 buyers and 97 foreign media agencies, adding that Thailand sees the presence of buyers as a strong indicator of their confidence that Thailand will ride this through, as it always has.

He said that the people in Thailand could enjoy their daily life as normal. Eating out, shopping, travelling, business meetings, even holding an important event like the Thailand Travel Mart Plus was running normally. The Thailand Travel Mart Plus is one of the country’s most important annual travel trade shows.

TAT is projecting international visitor arrivals in 2014 at 25.6 million, a slight drop from 2013. However, visitor expenditure is expected to surge 2.18 percent to 1.23 trillion baht or 38.4 billion US dollars.

It has appealed to the global media to show that life is going on as normal and that visitors can have a perfectly good holiday in Thailand.