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HomeAsia-PacificThailand`s Minister of Tourism and Sports sets 2004 tourism growth target at 12%

Thailand`s Minister of Tourism and Sports sets 2004 tourism growth target at 12%

Tourism and Sports Minister Sontaya Kunplome today revealed the government`s new target of seeing a 12 percent rise in tourist arrivals next year, citing figures for November showing a year-on-year increase of four percent.

Announcing the newly-released November figures, Mr. Sontaya said that around 720,000 visitors came to Thailand in November 2003, compared to 680,000 in November last year.

Voicing optimism that the growth rate would continue to rise throughout December and the New Year, he noted that all airlines were now fully booked, edging up total visitor arrivals for the year as a whole to over 10 million.

Tourist numbers in 2003 have remained considerably below the government`s initial targets made at the beginning of the year, largely due to the Iraq war, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) crisis and unrest in neighbouring countries.

But Mr. Sontaya today gave assurances that any visitors to Thailand would be safe, in particular from the possibility of terrorist attack. The rise in tourist numbers gave a clear indication that visitors were continuing to put their faith in Thailand, and still wanted to travel to the Kingdom, he said.

Announcing a target of a 12 percent rise in visitor arrivals next year, he also expressed confidence that average per capita tourist spending would go up thanks to the government`s marketing plans, all of which would be finalised by the end of this month.

We aim to have at least 5 percent more domestic tourists than this year. This year we predict that Thais will have made no less than 67 million trips, up from our target of 64-65 million, he said, adding that a number of domestic tourism promotional programmes would be launched in the near future.

He said that these included a project to promote tourism during the week, which the government expected to generate revenue of no less than Bt60 billion.

Asked which groups the government`s tourism marketing plans would focus on next year, the tourism minister said that the emphasis would be on medium to high income groups with high purchasing power. Most importantly, he said, the plans for next year would be based on locality, with different plans for visitors from different regions of the globe.

He also revealed that the government hoped to sell around 100,000 `Thailand Elite` cards to international dignitaries and celebrities, which he said would help boost Thailand`s image abroad.

Tourism and Sports Minister Sontaya Kunplome today revealed the government`s new target of seeing a 12 percent rise in tourist arrivals next year, citing figures for November showing a year-on-year increase of four percent.

Announcing the newly-released November figures, Mr. Sontaya said that around 720,000 visitors came to Thailand in November 2003, compared to 680,000 in November last year.

Voicing optimism that the growth rate would continue to rise throughout December and the New Year, he noted that all airlines were now fully booked, edging up total visitor arrivals for the year as a whole to over 10 million.

Tourist numbers in 2003 have remained considerably below the government`s initial targets made at the beginning of the year, largely due to the Iraq war, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) crisis and unrest in neighbouring countries.

But Mr. Sontaya today gave assurances that any visitors to Thailand would be safe, in particular from the possibility of terrorist attack. The rise in tourist numbers gave a clear indication that visitors were continuing to put their faith in Thailand, and still wanted to travel to the Kingdom, he said.

Announcing a target of a 12 percent rise in visitor arrivals next year, he also expressed confidence that average per capita tourist spending would go up thanks to the government`s marketing plans, all of which would be finalised by the end of this month.

We aim to have at least 5 percent more domestic tourists than this year. This year we predict that Thais will have made no less than 67 million trips, up from our target of 64-65 million, he said, adding that a number of domestic tourism promotional programmes would be launched in the near future.

He said that these included a project to promote tourism during the week, which the government expected to generate revenue of no less than Bt60 billion.

Asked which groups the government`s tourism marketing plans would focus on next year, the tourism minister said that the emphasis would be on medium to high income groups with high purchasing power. Most importantly, he said, the plans for next year would be based on locality, with different plans for visitors from different regions of the globe.

He also revealed that the government hoped to sell around 100,000 `Thailand Elite` cards to international dignitaries and celebrities, which he said would help boost Thailand`s image abroad.

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