BANGKOK, 20 May 2013 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has urged all its overseas offices to keep a close eye on the development in the foreign exchange market, which it said has not posed any impact on the travel industry yet.
TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said on Monday that all TAT offices across the globe have already been instructed to regularly report back the impact of the fluctuation in the foreign exchange market.
Mr. Suraphon stated that, unless the situation is dealt with in a timely manner, local travel business operators will soon be affected. A TAT-commissioned study showed that the domestic tourism industry will be shaken if the Japanese yet continues to stay weak as Thai holidaymakers will likely opt to take overseas vacations.
He added that the Japanese government’s reported plan to introduce the visa waiver program for Thailand is another key factor to make more Thais eager to travel to Japan.
According to TAT data, Japanese travelers were Thailand’s fourth-largest group of overseas visitors in April, with a 9.65-percent year-on-year increase to 112,367.
The TAT also reported that, in 2012, a total of 202,015 Thais, a 5.65-percent on-year rise, visited Japan and spent approximately 8.23 billion baht, a 14.51-percent on-year increase.