TCT: New government must build harmony
BANGKOK, 30 June 2011 – Tourism Council of Thailand says it wants the next government to build harmony and resume as quickly as possible membership in the World Heritage Convention to rebuild confidence.
TCT Policy and Planning president, Kongkrit Hiranyakit, said there are uncertainties about political stability and this could undermine Thailand tourism industry.
“It takes at least six months to correct a negative perception over security,” he said.
TCT hopes the new government will rebuild relations with neighbouring countries in the Mekong Region, add new tourist attractions, while developing old tourist destinations to give international visitors confidence in the country.
“Fortunately, there has not been any violence this year. So, Thailand welcomed 5.6 million tourist arrivals in the first quarter, up 15.02% from 4.66 million visits during the same period last year,” Mr Kongkrit added.
He warned that resigning from the UNESCO World Heritage Convention had damaged the country’s image and could in the long-run cost the country dearly in visits linked to World Heritage sites.
“The next government has to solve this problem quickly and return to the WHC while maintaining the country’s sovereignty as well,” he said.
This year, TCT estimates tourist arrivals would grow by 5% to 8% giving the country 16.73 million to 17.21 million visits and estimates revenue of Bt6.22 billion to Bt6.40 billion in tourist receipts.
Meanwhile, domestic tourism should grow by 5% to 95.23 million trips from 90.7 million trips in 2010 and generate and estimated revenue of Bt3 billion.