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17 Feb, 2014

TAT to maintain arrivals and revenue targets, revise strategic plan


Bangkok, (Royal Thai Government official media release) – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will not adjust projected figures and revenue target for 2014, but instead revise its strategic plan. It is expected that tourists will gain back their confidence during the third and fourth quarters, particularly those from China, Japan, and Russia.

On February 12, 2014, at 1130hrs, at Office of Permanent Secretary for Defense, Muang Thong Thani, Chaeng Watthana Road, Nonthaburi, Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak Pureesrisak and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Thawatchai Arunyik gave a press conference on the outcome of a meeting on solutions for post-election problems and obstacles of Ministry of Tourism and Sports which was chaired by Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The gist of the key points raised :

TAT will not adjust projected figures and revenue target, but instead revise strategic plan

The Tourism and Sports Minister stated that offices under the Ministry are able to operate normally, and budget disbursement could be done with no problem. However, the impact has been on the number of foreign tourists as the announcement of state of emergency has intimidated them to a certain extent.

Tourism and Sports Minister also mentioned about the Governor of Hokkaido, Japan, who had scheduled to visit Thailand under an agreement to promote mutual tourism between TAT and Hokkaido, and the initiation of sister-city relationship between Hokkaido and Chiang Mai, but decided to cancel his trip due to the current political situation. Nevertheless, exemption of Japanese visa for Thai tourists has made them prime tourist prospects of various cities of Japan. For this, the Governor of Hokkaido expressed gratitude and confirmed that tourism exchange between Thailand and Japan would not be faltered.

TAT also reported on the number of foreign tourists. Except for Bangkok which is the protest site, tourism in other regions of Thailand still enjoy a large number of tourists.

The TAT Governor also clarified that Asian tourists accounted for the decrease of number of tourists in January 2014, particularly during Chinese New Year Festival. However, TAT still insisted on not adjusting its projected figures and revenue target, but has been revising its working and strategic plan instead. It is also expected that tourists will gain back their confidence during the third and fourth quarters, particularly those from China, Japan, and Russia, which could boost the year-round number of tourists to reach TAT’s target.

Despite the impact of current political situation, particularly in Bangkok and vicinities, tourism activities in other areas and provinces such as Phuket, Chiang Mai and Pattaya continue to grow with a satisfying number of visitors. Meanwhile, R3A route, connecting Kunming, China and Chiang Rai-Chiang Mai, as well as the lower-northern region of Thailand, has brought more Chinese tourists to Thailand. In addition, TAT is currently adjusting its plan to accommodate tourists from the Middle East and countries with the opposite seasons of Thailand such as South Africa and Australia who tend to visit the country during May and June 2014.

Tourism and Sports Minister also reported PM Yingluck on the outcome of meeting between TAT and Tourism Council of Thailand. It was agreed that it is important to create understanding among foreign tourists who have been impacted by Thailand’s current political situation. On this, PM Yingluck guided that Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Tourism and Sports work together in communicating with tour operators in various countries to explain that Thailand is still safe enough for tourists, particularly at the tourist attractions. At the same time, foreign operators based in Thailand should also communicate with their respective markets in the same manner.