BANGKOK, 19 June 2013: International tourist arrivals to Thailand posted a growth of 19.09%, January to May, this year, according to the latest Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ data.
Released late last week, the ministry’s research registered 10,688,133 trips during the first five months up from 8,974,610 visits during the same period last year. If present trends continue, Thailand could attract as many as 25 million visitors this year.
In May alone, there were 1,846,403 trips increasing 19.36%, compared to 1,546,888 visits during the same month, last year. May is considered a low-season month.
BANGKOK, 19 June 2013: Kasikorn Research Centre estimates international tourist arrivals to Thailand this year will reach a record of 25.4 million visits and generate Bt1.14 trillion (+15.9%) in revenue on the back of a boom in Chinese and Russian travel.
The centre said value-for-money will continue to be an important factor to lure foreign tourists, but delivering safety should be a priority, now that political tensions have eased.
In addition, cheaper travel on low-cost, or charter flights, will help draw more international tourists to the kingdom.
WASHINGTON, 18 June 2013: Brand USA will launch a new online agent training programme first in the UK and Ireland to help travel agents build sales and content skills on USA travel.
The USA Discovery Programme is very similar to highly successful initiatives by Australia, New Zealand and Britain. Australia was the first country to see the importance of training travel agents and creating a bond to build business through its Aussie Specialists programme that rolled out through the Asia Pacific region.
It rolls out in the UK and Ireland to test response in two major markets that use English language, but it is likely to go further into Europe with language specific sites later in France, Germany and Italy three top markets for US tourism.
PAPHOS, 17 June 2013: After Cyprus’s bloated banking sector was hit by a body blow this spring, sending the economy further into recession, cut-price summer holiday offers are attracting tourists, but not the spending needed.
On the pebbly beach in front of Aphrodite’s Rock, tourists bask in the sun and bathe in the clear azure waters of the eastern Mediterranean.
“I’ve been here many many times, and the crisis didn’t change anything for me,” said John, a 55-year-old consultant from Britain. “I just brought more cash. But I can see that restaurants are emptier. Everything is emptier.”
BANGKOK, 12 June 2013: Tourism Council of Thailand forecasts the country’s tourism business will generate 26.08 million visits and revenue of around Bt1.18 trillion this year as the travel agency confidence indexsoars to the 100 benchmark score.
The tourism council’s projection is higher than the Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ estimate of 24.5 million and Tourism Authority of Thailand’s 24.14 million visits based on the positive rise in confidence at tour operator level.
TCT president, Piyaman Techapaibul, said at the council meeting, Tuesday, that the Tourism Confidence Index rated by tour operators for the period April to June stood at the standard benchmark 100 point which is the highest it has ever been in three years.
WASHINGTON, 11 June 2013: Visits from China and Latin America registered substantial growth to the United States last year, while European markets suffered declines, according to a government report released Monday.
A record 67 million international visits were clocked into the world’s biggest economy in 2012, up by 4.3 million from the previous year, the US Commerce Department said.
It also was a record-breaking year for international travel and tourism spending, which surged 10% to US$168.1 billion.
BANGKOK, 10 June 2013: Laos hopes to capitalise on being awarded the World’s Best Tourist Destination 2013 by the European Council on Tourism and Trade to encourage local entrepreneurs to improve their services.
The award was presented by ECTT, last month, to recognise the government’s promotion of free and fair tourism, safety of tourists, access to sites of historical and cultural significance, investment in the preservation of historical sites and creating tourism benefits for grassroots communities.
Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, tourism marketing director, Kettasone Sundara, told TTR Weekly at the Thailand Travel Mart last week that the award was a great honour for the country.
BANGKOK, 10 June 2013: Tourism Authority of Thailand says it will emphasise a balanced marketing strategy to match quantity with quality.
Commenting at TTM, late last week, TAT deputy governor for Asian markets, Sansern Ngaorangsi, said the authority was conscious that a rapid increase in visitor arrivals could also have an impact on the environment.
“There has to be a balanced strategic shift to preserve the quality of Thai destinations, products and services,” he said. “We have to attract more upmarket overseas visitors, while reducing congestion at popular destinations by promoting places that are close by.”
PHUKET, 6 June 2013: They roamed the seas off the Andaman Coast for generations, but Thailand’s sea gypsies say their traditional way of life is under threat and their homes at risk from a tourism boom.
The plight of the once-nomadic hunter-gatherers highlights the growing pressures on marginalised indigenous people in a country seeing a surge in foreign visitors to a record 22 million people last year.
The creation of protected marine parks, the depletion of fish stocks and a construction frenzy are all making it increasingly hard for the kingdom’s “Chao Lay” sea people to maintain their age-old lifestyles.
CHIANG RAI 5 June 2013: A busy airline executive closes the office for the day and hops on a mountain bike heading for Chiang Rai’s Golden Bridge that spans the River Mae Kok that meanders through the heart of this far north town.
She joins other city residents who cycle along small lanes near the river and around a town centre that is remarkably laid back, despite its status as the province’s capital.
A mother and child amble along on their shopping bikes as the sun sets and temperatures fall from mid-day heights to something more akin to a comfort level.