Thailand forecasts 40 mn tourists next year

Thailand Tourism is all set to expand through next year, with at least 10 per cent growth in the revenue from this year, fetching some 3.4 trillion baht. “Strong growth is anticipated from both the international and domestic markets. Next year, the international market should generate income of B2.28 trillion, while the domestic market should contribute B1.12 trillion,” said Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

The TAT also predicted international arrivals would increase from a predicted 37.5 million this year to 40 million next year, with domestic tourists making 169 million trips for 2019, up from 160 million this year. Revenue from domestic tourism is also expected to climb to B1.12 trillion from an estimated B1 trillion for 2018. “Tourism contributes 11 per cent to GDP. The industry will continue to grow and that is very challenging for TAT,” said Yuthasak.

“The government will focus on sustainability by promoting responsible tourism. The ministry is randomly inspecting some resorts on Phi Phi Island to verify their quality, check their licences and ensure they are legally employing staff. The move is aimed at increasing tourism quality and standards. Apart from that, the move is intended to eliminate nominees working in the industry for foreign investors. We don’t want them to put Thailand on sale and take the money back home,” said Weerasak Kowsurat, Tourism and Sports Minister.

TAT is also planning to make sure that in the future, the tourists who are entering the country must buy insurance as part of the new tourism standards. “The government has additional travel safety initiatives on the cards, said the tourism minister.

TAT is also planning to encourage more visitors from this Middle East, particularly female tourists, families and those seeking preventive medical service, and is expecting a 3 per cent increase in visitor footfalls. Last year 610,000 visitors came from the Middle East, mainly from the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Oman. The region accounted for 2 per cent of total international arrivals, but average spending from the segment is B7,200 per head per day, higher than the B5,200 average from other markets.