BANGKOK, 7 June 2017 (NNT): Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports believes concentrating on sports and food tourism promotions will ensure Thailand attracts more quality visitors.
She identified sports, health, marine and food tourism as priority markets that have the potential to draw more independent visitors who have strong spending power.
Group tourism from China remains the biggest single source of visitors to Thailand but earnings are low, when compared to the independent travel market.
She was speaking at a seminar attended by five regional Thai chambers of commerce and expressed confidence that tourism revenue this year would reach THB27 trillion.
More travellers, couples and families, are booking direct and they are familiar with Thailand with more than 50% having visited Thailand more than once. This trend will continue boosting travel arrivals.
She encouraged the private sector and communities to develop tourist attractions and increase the value of community-made products.
The ministry will also focus on attracting tourists from ASEAN countries to first travel to Thailand and then extend their trips to a third country. She views Thailand as a gateway destination that can distribute tourist to neighbouring countries, but they are also developing more direct flights and encouraging their tourism industries to build gateway tourism.
Vietnam is viewed as a strong competitor for Thailand, but given time Myanmar too will establish itself as a gateway destination that will ultimately reduce the role of Bangkok as an aviation gateway.
The minister identified the importance of joint promotions organised under the banner of CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam). Another priority is allow Chinese medical tourists to stay in Thailand for 90 days using a tourist visa.