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Thailand`s domestic tourism figures shoot above target

Domestic tourism figures for the first half of the year exceeded the…

Domestic tourism figures for the first half of the year exceeded the Tourism Authority of Thailand`s (TAT) target, beating gloomy projections about the state of the tourism industry following the avian flu scare and violence in the southern border region.

Statistics suggest that over 43 million visits were made by domestic tourists over the first half of the year, up 5.32 percent from the same period in 2003. But revenue from domestic tourism over this period stood at over Bt138 billion, with average spending of Bt1,682 per day, a drop of 8.9 percent from the previous year.

The TAT attributes the healthy figures to its heavy tourism offensive, with a number of activities since the beginning of the year designed to encourage domestic tourism.

Other positive factors include the birth of low-cost airlines and interesting new tourism products such as spas.

TAT programmes to encourage domestic tourism include activities to promote day trips from Bangkok and to encourage people to travel on weekdays.

Even the southern region, badly shaken by violence, recorded steady domestic tourism growth over the first half of the year.

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