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2014 Tourist Arrivals To Thailand Drop By 6.6 Percent


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BANGKOK — The number of foreign tourists who visited Thailand in 2014 is down 6.6 percent from the previous year, a Thai government official confirmed.

 

"24.7 million tourists visited Thailand in the year 2014, which is a 6.6 percent decrease compared with 2013," said Kobkarn Wattanavarangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports. "They generated 1.13 trillion baht in revenue, 5.8 percent less than [the previous year]."

 

Kobkarn attributed the decline in tourist arrivals and revenues to the political crisis in Thailand during "the first half of 2014," in which parts of Bangkok were paralyzed by street protests that aimed to topple the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

 

The protests, which occasionally turned violent, came to an end when the military staged a coup and declared nationwide martial law in May 2014. The military junta also imposed a 10 pm - 6 am curfew in Thailand for several weeks.

 

Tourism experts and economists also say that martial law, which remains in place today, has dissuaded many potential foreign tourists from visiting Thailand. More recently, the dramatic fall of the Russian ruble has further damaged tourism in popular destinations for Russian tourists such as Pattaya and Phuket.

 

Full Story

 

Meanwhile, TAT either has its head in the sand, or is on another planet:

 

 

TAT expects Jan 14-18 tourism event to generate 250 million baht

 

BANGKOK, 8 January 2014 (NNT) -- The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects that 250 million baht will be spent during a five-day Bangkok event held to spur Thailand's tourism in 2015. Source

 

and

 

 

TAT: New Year tourist number jumps across country

 

BANGKOK, 7 January 2015 (NNT) – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has indicated that the tourism sector has enjoyed an arrival jump across the country during the New Year period, generating more than six billion baht in income. Source

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Ah, so arrivals went down by 6.6%, but revenue only by 5.8%? That must mean that the focus on "quality tourists" is finally paying off - higher per capita revenue! TAT Victory!

 

Last time I exited Thailand, the Immigration Officer flipped through my passport and asked me: "Why do you come to Thailand so many times? One, two, three times... What are you doing here?" My visits are short holiday visits - five days, ten days - because I work overseas and have frequent RnR breaks - there's nothing to indicate residence or work or whatever, just a lot of long weekends and so on. Strange - I've never had them be anything but relieved to have me go, was a surprise to have a guy overtly unfriendly (and, in the Premium lane, too!)

 

It's like they are TRYING to end their tourism dominance... Good luck, TAT, with the way things are going it's going to be a long year or so to come.

 

YimSiam

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