Tourism Council expects 26 million visits this year, 29 million in 2014

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BANGKOK, 21 December 2013 The Tourism Council Of Thailand expects foreign arrivals to grow next year and reach 29 million despite negative pressures from the political scene and the global economy. 

Council chairperson Piyaman Techaphaibun said he expected next year’s arrivals figure to grow 12.1% to 29 million visitors. The figure would translate into 1.35 trillion baht of income for Thailand. According to her, foreign tourist arrivals increased by 21% for the first 11 months of 2013. Total arrivals is expected to be about 26 million for this year, which would translate into 1.16 trillion baht of income for Thailand. Although the global economic slowdown, natural disasters and political rallies affected the tourism scene this year, the tourism sector continued to expand.

The tourism operators’ confidence index stood at 102 in the last quarter of this year, making 2013 the first year that the index returned to the normal level, after it consistently dropped below normal for the past 3 years.

Touching on China’s new regulation on outbound tourists, Ms. Piyaman disclosed that the number of Chinese tourists arriving in Thailand has been affected since October. 33% of tourism operators in the central and northern regions have been afflicted.

On Friday, she also called on all related parties to help foster a tourism-friendly atmosphere despite the differences in opinion.