Tourism ministry expects 10-12% drop in foreign tourists this year

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The Ministry of Tourism and Sports expects the number of foreign tourists to drop between 10-12 percent in 2014 due to the prolonged political demonstrations.

Permanent Secretary for Tourism and Sports Suwat Sitthilo said on Thursday the ministry will soon update foreign diplomats about the tourism situation in Thailand, as it is now apparent that political rallies will be prolonged. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has also been told to update its website content to ensure that foreign tourists receive factual information.

Suwat indicated the expectation for the decline in foreign tourists was a result of several factors, which include the prolonging of political demonstrations and China’s tightening of regulations on outbound tours.

26 million foreign tourists visited Thailand in 2013, which surpassed expectations. Their visits generated 1.7 trillion baht of income for Thailand. Suwat indicated that if the political rallies were to cease within the first quarter of this year, the tourism sector will expand and generate 2 trillion baht of income for Thailand in 2014.