New push for ‘quality’ visitors

Chinese tourists wait for traffic lights in Ratchaprasong area in the rain. China will remain a focus for Thailand’s tourism next year. SOMCHAI POOMLARD

A new national tourism campaign for 2018 is being drafted aimed at maintaining the country’s tourism revenue growth at 8-10%, on par with this year’s projection, says Deputy Prime Minister Thanasak Patimaprakorn.

The campaign will focus on attracting more quality tourists rather than increasing the number of tourist arrivals. Another goal is promoting new tourist attractions and products in both domestic and international markets.

In this regard, the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration will help promote new community attractions in domestic and overseas markets. Dasta aims to launch several promotions in 99 communities across the country, starting with a tourism fair this July.

“Next year the tourism authorities will focus more on strong markets such as China, Europe and Southeast Asia,” Gen Thanasak said on Monday after meeting private operators.

China and Asean contribute 27% each of foreign tourist arrivals to Thailand, followed by Europe at 19%.

“Revenue from the tourism sector will continue to grow in 2018 at a rate of 8-10% based on this year’s growth projection,” he said.

Domestic and international tourism markets are expected to generate combined income of 2.5 trillion baht this year, up from 2.4 trillion last year.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry and other related state agencies are studying global conditions and their impact on tourism in drafting a 2018 tourism campaign. They expect to have concrete ideas and action plans by the second half of the year.

The World Travel and Tourism Council predicted the global tourism industry would contribute 10% of global GDP this year. Thai tourism represents 15-16% of national GDP.

In a bid to boost quality tourists from mainland China, Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul plans to meet officials from the…

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