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Domestic tourism expected to see year-end spike

Maiyarat Pheerayakoset, president of the Association of Domestic Travel, said yesterday that three factors would drive growth in domestic tourism: political stability, cheaper fuel and scheduled events such as the Royal Flora Expo in Chiang Mai from November to February. The Christmas-New Year period and other year-end events will also stimulate local travel, she said. The political problems last year disrupted domestic as well as inbound tourism. However, the unrest is over and local people have started travelling again, Maiyarat said.

“The flooding throughout the country has had no effect on key tourist places so far. I spent several days in the North and saw no floods at tourist attractions,” she said. “It may be a very high expectation for next quarter, but Thai tourism usually rebounds fast after a crisis,” she added. The Tourism Authority of Thailand projects 91 million domestic trips this year, generating Bt432 billion in income.

It is asking the government for an extra budget to run a new campaign called “Miracle Thailand”. To help boost local business travel, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau is developing 10 cities including Pattaya, Krabi and Hua Hin as new destinations for meetings and conferences. Surapol Sritrakul, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), said many Thais would return to sightseeing in Japan, especially during the last three months of the year. Thais will also travel to other regions including Europe, as the baht is strong against foreign currencies. ”

Japan will become the top destination for Thais once again, as it is recovering from the earthquake and massive tsunami in March.” ATTA is also confident that international visitors will head back to Thailand in the remaining months of the year, mainly because of the relative political calm.

Source: The Nation

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