Thailand eyes 30 million tourists in 2015


BANGKOK, Sept. 5 – Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silpa-archa has set a target to increase the number of tourist arrivals to at least 30 million by 2015 and to generate national revenues of Bt1.4 trillion.

Speaking in a meeting with the ministry’s senior officials on Monday, Mr Chumpol said the urgent policy to be implemented is to designate the 2011-2012 the “Miracle Thailand Year” to attract foreign tourists to travel to Thailand and to celebrate the 84th anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol’s birthday which falls on December 5.

The ministry will launch a campaign to promote the year of sports and tourism in line with the King’s self sufficiency economy philosophy.

Activities will be organised in the capital and the provinces, while road shows will be held overseas. The ministry initially proposed a budget of Bt3.05 billion for 40 planned projects.

Mr Chumpol said the targeted group is quality markets. Visa fees will be exempted for tourists from some countries having Free Trade Area agreements with Thailand or having trade and investment relations with Thailand, such as Taiwan, Korea and China. Moreover, travel insurance will be offered for them.

The ministry will adopt tax measures to promote Thailand as a location for foreign movie shooting, and boost the country to become a full scale film production centre.

It will promote holding conferences, fairs such as the BoI Fair 2011 and international sports events. Tourism-related laws will be improved and bill will be proposed to address tourist problems and concerns.

The ministry targets to double income from foreign tourists to Bt1.4 trillion within five years and to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 15.9 million in 2010 to 31.8 million in 2015.

In 2011, it targeted to have 19.5 million tourists and earn Bt700 billion. There were 11.2 million tourists from January to July this year.