The Tourism Council of Thailand now expects 30 million international tourist arrivals this year, up from its original projection of 28.8 million.
Last month’s deadly bomb blast in Bangkok is no longer expected to affect the tourism sector in the coming high season.
TCT president Ittirit Kinglake said 8.1 million international tourists were expected to visit the country in the final quarter, up by 9.2 per cent from same time last year.
It is projected that 2.2 million will come from Southeast Asia, 3.2 million from East Asia, 1.3 from Europe, and the rest from other parts of the world.
Thailand welcomed 7.8 million visitors in the first quarter and 7.0 million in the second, up by 23 and 37 per cent respectively compared with the same periods last year.
A total of 7.4 million are expected in the current quarter, up by 26 per cent from the third quarter of 2014.
He said total arrivals should reach 30 million this year, an increase from the earlier projection of 28.8 million, for a 22.8-per-cent improvement over 2014.
Total income from the international and domestic markets will also be higher than the original prediction of Bt2.2 trillion (S$86 billion), at Bt2.3 trillion, of which Bt1.5 trillion will be from the international market.
“The bomb blast at Erawan Shrine in Bangkok last month hit the sector, but only for a short time. This fear will not affect the industry during the coming high season,” Ittirit said.
China will remain the biggest source of arrivals, with 8 million this year. Visits from Southeast Asia are expected to rebound this month.
However, the Russian market is expected to continue falling through early next year.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry has reported to the Cabinet that the bombing through this month resulted in a loss of Bt64 billion in tourism revenues from the cancellation of flights as 35 countries issued Level 1-3 travel advisories against Thailand.
Hong Kong, Taiwan and Slovakia issued Level 4 advisories warning their people not to travel here if it wasn’t necessary.
Since the incident, Thailand has lost 1.3 million tourists. However, the tourism situation is bouncing back as safety matters are now seen as under control and the sector should enjoy significant growth in the final quarter of the year, Ittirit said.
“Hong Kong will withdraw its travel warning within three or four days,” he added.
In order to encourage tourists back to the Kingdom, the TCT, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the private sector plan to invite celebrities from Hong Kong and mainland China to perform concerts in Bangkok and visit the Erawan Shine within the next few months to rebuild confidence in those two markets.
Ittirit said many other development plans had been drafted and would soon be proposed to the government.
Suggested measures include restoring damaged attractions, developing new products and services, providing financial aid to affected operators and facilitating business expansion, and enhancing human resources.