A recent report by the Tourism Authority of Thailand shows that tourist figures are due to rise dramatically in 2010. Although figures have been declining recently, they predict that next year 14 million tourists will visit the Land of Smiles, generating around 960 billion baht in revenue.
“In 2010, the TAT hopes to attract 823,000 tourists from South Asia, up 13 per cent, generating revenue of Bt25 billion, up 15.4 per cent. As well, 450,000 tourists from the Middle East are expected to visit Thailand, spending about Bt19 billion,” Pensuda Priaram acting TAT governor announced in an interview by The Nation.
The figures represent a 5.6% increase over this year’s expected 13.2 million visitors, which will be achieved largely through mass promotion of Thailand’s key attractions and resorts and also the lightening of the political situation.
Another aspect is that following a visit by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, China’s officials have withdrawn their official warning against travel to Thailand. As a result, more than 100,000 Chinese tourists are expected to visit Thailand in the next few months.
One of the areas expected to benefit from this increase in tourism is the seaside resort town of Pattaya. Other popular tourist destinations include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi and Phuket.