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Bt8 bn sought for TAT’s ‘Miracle Thailand’ campaign

The Cabinet will be asked to approve the budget by next month before the new financial year kicks off in October. This new campaign will replace TAT’s long-running “Amazing Thailand” theme.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who presented her government’s tourism policies to the Cabinet, hopes to boost total visitors to 30 million per year in the next four years. The private sector has predicted that the country would have more than 19 million tourists this year. The new government is also hoping to boost tourism income to Bt2 trillion per year by 2016.

TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said the country’s tourism industry needed more money to achieve its goals, adding that the additional funding would be spent mostly on marketing activities both in local and foreign markets.

Kongkrit Hirankit, vice president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, has called on Yingluck to help push the tourism industry forward because it desperately needs the confidence of operators overseas.

Suraphon said tourists were returning to Thailand after the July 3 general elections, and the industry should pick up significantly if there are no threats.

“The number of international tourists at Suvarnabhumi Airport grew by 30 per cent from August 1 to 20. This is a very good sign for high season this year,” he said.
In the first seven months of this year, Thailand has already welcomed more than 11 million tourists despite ongoing political activities.

However, TAT is preparing to deal with the economic slowdown in key markets like Europe and last week’s earthquake in the United States, which may halt inbound traffic.

“All TAT offices in the US and Europe were told to keep an eye on the situation, but continue selling Thailand because it is still a value-for-money destination compared to other countries in the region,” Suraphon said.

Meanwhile, TCT has suggested that the government and TAT focus on regional markets and reclaim visitors from key markets such as Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. Tourism authorities are also urged to capture emerging markets like India, China and Russia.

Source: The Nation

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