Phuket: 2012 ‘a golden year’ for tourism

Posted on January 7, 2013

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Inbound tourists to Thailand hit a record of almost 22 million people this year, generating at least B900 billion, a prominent Thai tourism industry leader said this week.

TCT President Piyaman Techapaibu" Thailand needs lower import taxes in luxuries to encourage spending by tourists

Piyaman Techapaibul, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), described 2012 as a “golden year” for Thailand’s tourism industry, with revenue circulating from domestic tourists also increasing, to B500 billion.

She said that political stability and the increasing popularity of tourist attractions in Thailand have contributed to the tourism boom, while the ongoing Sino-Japanese face-off over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands has diverted travellers from both countries to Thailand.

The biggest market for arrivals this year was China, which delivered 2.5 million visitors. Russia was second with 1 million visitors, with India, South Korea and Japan all close behind.

Ms Piyamarn said the Tourism and Sports Ministry will be asked to plan a strategy to attract tourists to a range of attractions wider than the traditional locations in the North and beach resorts along the Andaman Coast.

She added that the TCT has also targeted stretching foreign tourists’ average five-day stay in Thailand to six days and increasing their daily spending of B3,000 per person to B5,000.

(Just quite where the B900 billion figure quoted in the first paragraph comes from is not clear – with 22 million inbound tourists, that is already B41,000 per tourist, or an average of B8,000 a day for a five-day stay.)

She urged the government to the lower import tax on luxury goods to make Thailand more competitive with shopping destinations such as Hong Kong and Singapore.

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Posted in: Phuket