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Posted 2011-12-09 17:16:13
2011 Foreign Tourist Arrivals Shrink over Floods
The Tourism and Sports Ministry has admitted that the flood crisis has affected the number of foreign tourist arrivals this year.
At the same time, the tourism authority is speeding up the rehabilitation of flood-hit tourist attractions before the upcoming Chinese New Year.
Permanent Secretary of the Tourism and Sports Ministry Suwat Sidthilaw revealed that the number of foreign tourists in the past 11 months of the year was over 17 million – an increase of almost three million people, or 21.17 percent year-on-year.
However, the number of foreign visitors between the end of October and November dropped 80 percent due to the flood crisis, particularly in Bangkok and other central provinces.
He also reported that revenue from the tourism industry in the first 11 months reached 650 billion baht.
The ministry expects to boost the number of foreign arrivals in December to 1.5 million, emphasizing on Asian markets such as China, Japan, Hong Kong and India.
Suwat believes that the total number of foreign travellers for the entire year will reach 18.5 million, a drop of one million from earlier targeted.
The top tourism and sports official went on to say that the top ten countries with the most nationals visiting Thailand are Malaysia, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, India, Laos, Britain, Australia and the United States.
Meanwhile, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, or TAT, Surapol Svetasreni said the agency is currently speeding up the rehabilitation process of tourist attractions damaged by the floods and is trying to establish new markets after the flooding recedes.
He pointed out that the TAT will emphasize on promoting long-term travel and sustainable tourism in the country.
Asked about the flood impact, Surapol viewed the disaster as a short-term problem and expressed his belief that foreign travelers will soon start to return to Thailand.
The governor revealed that the TAT is planning to hold post-flood activities to boost foreign tourist confidence and inform the international community that Thailand is ready to welcome them to the country.
Moreover, the agency will hold travel fairs overseas to stimulate tourist arrivals in Thailand such as the International Tourism Bourse 2012 in Berlin, Germany between March 7 and 11 next year.
-- Tan Network 2011-12-09
Posted 2011-12-09 17:18:44
Tourist arrivals drop almost 18% year-on-year in November due to flood
BANGKOK, Dec 9 - The numbers of Thailand’s tourist arrivals dropped almost 18 per cent in November year-on-year due to the flood crisis from around 1.4 million to 1.2 million, particularly in Bangkok and the central part of the country.
The figure was announced at a news conference on the status of foreign travellers from Jan-Nov 2011 by the Tourism and Sports Ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
However, over 17 million tourists entered the country in the first 11 months, a higher number of tourist arrivals compared to last year’s 15.9 million during the comparable period.
About 1.5 million travellers are expected to visit Thailand in December. Should the predicted figure be achieved, the number of tourist arrivals this year will reach 18.5 million, which is still a 20 per cent rise year-on-year, despite the floods.
Tourism Ministry Permanent Secretary Suwat Sittilor said tourist arrivals will rise this month. Potential visitors who previously misunderstood that the images of a flooded Don Mueang Airport were Suvarnabhumi Airport now understand correctly that the gateway to the country is wide open.
Although tourist arrivals for 2011 would not reach the targeted 19.5 million, Tourism Department Director-General Supon Sripan said Thailand would in fact receive more travellers this year than last, and that the 19.5 million goal had been adjusted due to the tendency of tourist arrivals to increase unexpectedly early this year.
TAT Governor Surapol Sawetseranee added the flood crisis took place temporarily for eight weeks and should be compared to a brownout situation in some areas of the country. The situation has returned to normal and entered the rehabilitation period.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has distributed updated information on the flooding situation through domestic and international press and media, taking them to the actual areas to visit after floodwaters recede, as well as travelling overseas to promote better understanding on the matter.
For 2012, the international tourist arrivals are targeted at 19.55 million with revenues of Bt766 billion, while the volume of domestic travellers is at 93.65 million with over Bt450 billion income, according to Governor Surapol.
Meanwhile, Tourism and Sports Ministry Spokesman Watchara Kannikar passed on a message to the government that rehabilitation management for Thai tourism would be more practical if its budget would not be reduced any further. (MCOT online news)
-- TNA 2011-12-09
Posted 2011-12-09 17:40:06
No need for panic they were saying a couple of days ago that are going to have record numbers, so I guess it is going to be standing room only in Thailand over the next 3 weeks.
Posted 2011-12-09 18:19:05
"However, the number of foreign visitors between the end of October and November dropped 80 percent due to the flood crisis, particularly in Bangkok and other central provinces."
"The numbers of Thailand’s tourist arrivals dropped almost 18 per cent in November year-on-year due to the flood crisis from around 1.4 million to 1.2 million, particularly in Bangkok and the central part of the country."
If from end-October till end-November 2011 foreign visitor numbers dropped 80% and November 2011 was 18% lower than November 2010, does this suggest October 2011 was nearly as expected/predicted for 2011?
Lies, dam_ned lies and statistics
Posted 2011-12-09 18:32:33
Ahhhhhhh, so it was it the flood water that caused my shrinkage! Thank you TV for clearing that up.
Posted 2011-12-09 22:33:24
What a load of bulSH##ing figures again................it's unbelievable how they contradict theirselves.............manipulating border runs--workers--transits--- this department speaks on the lines of our National carrier.. 30 planes ordered.............upgrading the old ones...............dumping 500 flights................being awarded top world honours.......and the latest lost how many billions ????.......I said before and I will always speak like this until they get out of corrupt fairyland and run the job properly.==......tourism.......this 6% of gdp.... bu#locks................it is much more than this, as these figures dont show what is being spent by long stayers. and other side benefits. if this tourism figure 6% is taken as correct---and is that small, surely it wouldn't matter if they had tourists at all so why all the fuss..................you CAN afford to lose this 6%.
Posted 2011-12-10 05:51:34
Hopefully the government will waive the visa fees to encourage more tourists to visit Thailand for longer periods of time, as has been done in the past...
Edited by Microwave, 2011-12-10 05:52:35.
Posted 2011-12-10 07:30:24
floods,floods , floods,is that the only reason they can come up with?
Posted 2011-12-10 08:14:20
You don't think the floods are the problem? Please enlighten us.
Posted 2011-12-10 09:02:57
30 years ago Thailand had a virtual monopoly on tourism in SE Asia. It was the only viable option for mainstream tourism (albeit that fighting with the CPT was still in full swing in N. & NE Thailand, and the Golden Triangle section in Thailand meant a lot more than a tourist label).
Since then Thailand has basically jogged on the spot in tourist appeal terms and in some senses has gone backwards (the overdevelopment of Pattaya, Phuket, Samui etc). The attractions and destinations of Thailand have basically been matched and bettered as the rest of SE Asia has come online as a tourist destination.
The shortsightedness is epitomised in the example of the Andaman Sea dive sites. Sure, the widespread bleaching in 2010 was due to a rise in sea temperatures but the management of this area has been woeful. The latest wizard wheeze is to boost the existing 200 tuna fishing boats based out of Phuket by an additional 300 Taiwanese fishing boats. So dead coral and no fish, no wonder many of the dive operators are relocating to Komodo in Indonesia, where not only is there world class diving but the navy shoots (or at least shoots at) fishermen encroaching on the Marine park, rather than busying themselves towing Rohingya refugees out to sea in boats without engines as the RTN allegedly likes to do.
The situation here is similar to the demise of tourist destinations in the UK such as Blackpool, Brighton and Margate in the UK. Once Brit tourists could get cheap flights and holiday packages to Spain, Greece etc these places went into long term decline (though Brighton has reinvented itself as the San Francisco of England). Here the combination of LCCs such as Air Asia and Lion Air coupled with better options throughout the region present a massive challenge to tourism in Thailand.
Mass tourism from Russia and China will probably fill the gap in the short term but even they will probably wise up and seek out alternative destinations in years to come. but this type of tourism will do little but undermine Thailand's appeal in the long run as it becomes Asia's version of the Spanish Costas and Benidorm, Torremolinos and Loret del Mar are recreated in a Thai setting.
The likelihood that Burma/Myanmar fully opens for tourist business is on the verge of becoming reality and this will eat another chunk of Thailand's tourist lunch. Phuket or Ngapali; Ayutthaya or Bagan; "trekking" in Chiang Rai area or trekking in Northern Shan state; Doi Inthanon with a RTAF/NSA station on top or Putao's mountains with snow on top; and so on.
it's not too late for Thailand to get it's tourist act together but it seems that TAT (never has an acronym been more appropriate, as in English vernacuar "tat" means rubbish or trash) revels in complacency and ineptitude fully supported by bucket loads of spending money and highly dubious statistics. Spain has pulled its tourist industry back from the brink, and I would love to see Thailand pull off the same trick, but I'm not going to hold my breath....
Edited by NxaiPan, 2011-12-10 09:10:33.
Posted 2011-12-10 09:11:35
Tip of the iceberg, Visa entry is free well enough for holidays here 30 days, the tourist visa at 1000 bht is nothing for 60 days, it is the visa runs and it's expense that is the crippler and inconvenience.
Example set by Thai International on lower fares on its European service, scams and a general toughening up on cleaning up the rubbish tip of the country in general, over 31 years this place is getting dirtier, and greedier.
My suggestion would be for cat-0 visa 1 year obtainable here as well as in your own country, 25,000 bht--WITH NO VISA RUNS. so Laos is not getting 1,500 every 90 days.
Posted 2011-12-10 09:19:41
And how does this boost tourism again....?.... ....seems to me this is on your wish list, but your not a tourist are ?...
Posted 2011-12-10 09:20:49
Don't worry. Thai people have money. They can sustain without tourists.
Posted 2011-12-10 09:27:01
What an excellent post. Thank you.
Posted 2011-12-10 09:51:29
Cleaver you took a small part of what I wrote??..........that doesn't directly boost figures, but long term it is a big help, you know the word of mouth bit that gave Thailand the start-yes it was people that were already here and promoting it, do you get that part of it. ?? the other bits on this topic you had not mentioned weren't they sensible ??? of course it's on my wish list along with thousands of longer term stayers. Sorry but my suggestions are far better than TAT-or Thai Airways have come up with.
Please comment on all the post not pick out suitable for you-bits.
Posted 2011-12-10 09:57:28
TAT always presents overly simplistic numbers to justify its budget, visitor numbers are meaningless if its not sustainable. World tourism is a growth industry, always will be since people like to go on holiday the more they prosper, which is a trend and has been for a century or more. Add to that budget flights, internet bookings etc. Still, they claim in the same article that tourist number y-o-y are both up and down, bit confusing, and what they meant to really say was that 2010 was a bit of a disaster for tourism due to the Ratchaprasong siege, so of course this year will look 'up' while Nov is down compared to last year obviously because of floods - truth is there is at least one setback to tourism every year so you need to plan around that.
Seems more and more Chinese and Russian tourists arriving, fine, how much are they spending though. The real story (in the pockets of the tourist businesses) is that people are spending less baht, because their fixed Euro or Pound or Dollar budgets now go less far. Nothing we can do about that.
Posted 2011-12-10 10:55:57
i lived in patts.in the 80's the place was booming,then in the late 80's they started to build more hotels,every spare pc.of land was an extra bar so what money was being spent had to be shared with the newcomers,by 1990 it was begining to show,empty hotels,bars closing down,the beach walkway was a mess,i know visitors were starting to go to the pilipines that i used to see reguler,but puket was taking over from patts,now look whats happening there,samui was paradise when me&mrs.visited 1991 dont now what its like today,so whats happening it comes to mind the old saying DONT KILL THE GOOSE THAT LAYS THE GOLDEN EGG i am afraid this has already happened.
Posted 2011-12-10 11:01:37
Your sarcasm is not that far from the reality. To date, Thailand hasn't need a massive bail out like some EU nations, nor has it suffered a near financial system collapse as did the USA.
Thailand's little economic engine is chugging along. The black choking fumes only seem to blow into the faces of farangs.
Posted 2011-12-10 11:08:53
Erm, Thailand triggered a financial crisis in Asia in 1997/98.
Posted 2011-12-10 11:11:17
Phnom Penh is similar to what Bangkok was like 20 years ago. Sihanoukville is what Patong/Pattaya used to be like.
If you are looking for it, it's still there, just not in Thailand.
Posted 2011-12-10 12:53:41
Get someone to explain 1997/1998 to you, and get back to us....
Posted 2011-12-10 13:05:21
"The governor revealed that the TAT is planning to hold post-flood activities" How about bog snorkelling?
Posted 2011-12-10 15:17:52
How soon they forget.
Posted 2011-12-10 15:26:39
Why on earth does Thailand have a tourism and sports ministry? Does anyone have an answer to this? Tourism represents between 8% and 15% of the Thai economy, depending on who you ask. Does this industry not deserve someone exclusively devoted to it? Sports would seem to be enough of a portfolio in and of itself. And then tourism too? Is that not a slap in the face to the entire tourism industry? Well, you are a little bit important, but I can handle sports too! What is up with that? I would love to get some clarity on the train of thought that went into some genius coming up with the idea to join the two ministries.
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