Chumpol bullish on travel
BANGKOK, 19 July 2012: Thailand’s tourism business has so far escaped the impact of the Eurozone crisis, says Tourism and Sports Minister, Chumpol Silpa-archa, who believes that despite running up debts, Europeans will continue to book long-haul holidays.
He has a few travel figures to support his argument too that show European visits to Thailand increased during the first half of the year.
From January to June, this year, there were 10,496,789 tourist arrivals to Thailand that generated over Bt400 billion, up 7.60% from 9,755, 108 visits during the same period last year.
The big suppliers were China, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, India and Japan.
But European markets were not slacking either with 2,971,939 trips increasing by a respectable 11.12% from 2,674,551 during the same period last year.
“International tourist arrivals to the country in the first half of the year were positive and even the Eurozone crisis did not impact on us.
“One of the factors is a restored confidence in the country that was helped along by Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, who visited several countries soon after taking office.”
He added: “I am confident that we can achieve 20 million visits this year and generate around Bt800 billion in tourism revenue.”
Last year, the country attracted 19,230,470 visitors and gained about Bt770 billion in income.
Travel agents do report declines from so-called summer time markets such as Spain, Portugal and Greece, blaming it on the Eurozone crisis, but the trend is not reflected in official travel data so far.