Thailand’s Tourism off to a strong start in 2015
Thailand’s tourism industry kicked off 2015 with a flying start, recording a sharp spike in visitor numbers in the first quarter. Exuberant Chinese New Year celebrations were reported to have played a large part in the impressive tourism figures. According to a report by the Bangkok Post, the Tourism and Sports Ministry is currently on course to meet its yearly projection.
Charnwit Phalajivin, a spokesperson for the ministry, said that visitor arrivals in the first quarter reached an impressive total of 7.8 million, a growth of 23 percent compared with the same period last year. So far, Chinese tourist are in the lead in terms of overseas tourist arrivals, followed by South Korean, Malaysian, Russian and Japanese visitors.
Last year, the Kingdom welcomed a total of 24.8 million overseas visitors, with Chinese tourists making up the bulk of the numbers.
However, it is not only Chinese New Year that has contributed to Thailand’s visitor numbers , as the tourism sector has been seeing strong growth over the entire peak season throughout December 2014 all through the beginning of the year. In January alone, the Kingdom welcomed 2.65 million international tourists and generated approximately THB120 million (US$3.6 billion) in revenue. The country’s annual Songkran celebrations also attracted plenty of extra visitors throughout April.
While the peak season may be drawing to a close, visitors are assured that there is plenty to do in Thailand no matter what time of year they choose to visit the Kingdom. Beginning next month, Thailand's tourism board will launch a series of roadshows in the Middle East, South Africa and Australia as part of the country’s campaign to attract foreign tourists throughout the off-season.
The Thailand Tourism Authority (TAT) will kick off their campaign at May’s Arabian Travel Market, which is set to take place in Dubai. According to a report by Xinhua News Agency, the acting governor of the TAT is aiming to attract Middle Eastern tourists to the Kingdom for longer periods of time during the off-season.
“The campaigns in the Middle East, South Africa and Australia are designed to make up for a loss in the Russia market primarily due to the falling ruble,” explained Jutaporn Rerngron-asa. “Besides, we will keep the western European markets as our major target in addition to the China and ASEAN markets,” she continued.
The TAT is also promoting Thailand as a ‘dream destination’ for newlyweds and honeymooners from overseas. “We’re stepping up efforts to attract newlyweds from around the globe to visit and spend their honeymoons in our country,” revealed Rerngron-asa, adding that Thailand remains the top destination for foreign tourists in the whole of Asia.
by MAX VEE