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Short-Term concern for Thailand's International Visitor Arrivals

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Tuesday, 17 April 2007

In a recent briefing with the Thailand PATA Chapter, the Tourism Authority of Thailand's (TAT) Governor, Ms Phornsiri Manoharn, expressed short-term concern at the downturn in international arrivals from Japan and Singapore, and from the business and meetings sectors in general, due to the current uncertain political environment in Thailand.

Tour operator members of the Chapter said that while demand from Asian markets had indeed softened, European leisure demand was increasing. In the past, 50% of online leisure booking requests were turned down due to excess demand. With fewer business visitors, more hotel beds and airline seats were now available to holiday buyers.

The Governor told PATA Chapter leaders that the TAT did not fear competition from neighbouring countries due to Thailands variety. "Thailand has everything except casinos and snow," she said, adding that such variety plus Bangkoks role as an aviation hub serving 98 airlines gave it a distinct advantage over neighbouring countries.

With over 50% of tourists to Thailand - and over 60% of Japanese - being repeat visitors, she said that Thailand would continue to gain valuable business by being a gateway hub to the Mekong region. For example, over 87% of all visitors to Myanmar enter from Thailand. In addition, the newly appointed Governor told the Chapters executives that the TAT would increasingly concentrate on attracting weekend shopping, dining and golf traffic from Singapore and Hong Kong.

She cited the Indian wedding market and film productions shot on location in Thailand as sectors that had potential for growth. To capitalise on emerging markets, the TAT will also open offices in Moscow, Dubai and Ho Chi Minh City.

See other recent news regarding: PATA, Thailand, Tourism, Visitor Arrivals

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