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Thailand Focus February 9th, 2015: Thailand expects up to 29 million arrivals in 2015

Thailand is forecasting a recovery in tourism arrivals in 2015 to as many as 29 million foreign tourists, up from 24.7 million last year, while its tourism authority has launched a campaign to showcase Thainess to domestic and foreign travellers alike.
 
Tourism Authority officials say the recovery comes against an easing in political tensions, a key factor in the decline in arrivals in 2014 by 6 per cent, as well as a decline in the value of the Russian rouble.
 
Minister of Tourism and Sports, Kobkarn Wattanavarangkul, said that besides Thailand’s uncertain political climate in 2014 the fall in the Russian rouble had triggered a 21 per cent fall in Russian tourist arrivals in November alone.
 
Minister Kobkarn said more attention was being given to the tourism sector by both Thailand and other countries, looking to lift visitor arrivals to boost the domestic economies.
 
The recovery in visitor arrivals is expected to be led by the boon in tourists from China.  In January 2015, a total of 2.65 million foreign tourists visited Thailand a rise of 15.9 per cent year–on-year.  Minister Kobkarn added the strong performance in January was attributed in large part to the China market.  “We expect to continue to enjoy a steady increase in the first quarter, especially in February due to the high demand from the China market during this coming Lunar New Year,” she said.
 
The Thai Government is working on several policies and strategies to attract international visitors including campaigns on the country’s natural and cultural assets.  “Thailand will also continue to enhance cooperation across the spectrum of tourism to promote intra-ASEAN tourism as well as position the region as a single tourist destination,” said Kobkarn.
 
Thailand, she added, would move to forge greater collaboration with regional and global partners.
 
Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand launched the “2015 Discover Thainess” campaign aiming to showcase the hospitable character of the Thai people and the many cultural assets of the country that make it a unique tourist destination.  The campaign includes year-round activities, with at least one large event each month at various locations across the country, starting in January with the Thailand Tourism Festival held at Lumpini Park in Bangkok, which attracted over 600,000 visitors, according to the TAT.
 
In February, TAT is inviting local and international travellers to join the festivities planned for the Chinese Lunar New Year.   The nation’s biggest Chinese New Year celebrations take place in Bangkok’s Chinatown on Yaowarat Road, with cultural displays and performances.  Some of other highlights during the year include the Muay Thai festival in March, the nationwide Songkran Festival in April, Thailand Music Festival in May, Thailand Grand Sale and ASEAN Arts Festival in June, the Queen of Silk Festival in August, and the nationwide Loi Krathong Festival in November.
 
See the original article at Thailand e-Focus

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