Tourist numbers rise in 'second-tier' spots

Tourist numbers rise in 'second-tier' spots

An aerial view of Nakhon Phanom, one of the secondary provinces under a Tourism Authority of Thailand plan to promote tourism. (Photo by Pattanapong Sripiachai)
An aerial view of Nakhon Phanom, one of the secondary provinces under a Tourism Authority of Thailand plan to promote tourism. (Photo by Pattanapong Sripiachai)

The government’s initiative to promote tourism in second-tier Thai provinces has boosted the number of visitors by more than 10%, an inter-provincial bus company executive said.

Kruawan Wonogrukmit, a chief executive officer of Nakhonchai Tour Co, a major inter-provincial bus operator based in Nakhon Ratchasima, praised the government's initiative to promote tourism across second-tier provinces to promote income distribution and improve local economies.

"The initiative has increased the number of Thai visitors by more than 10% — particularly in northeastern provinces, such as Sakhon Nakhon, Kalasin, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan and Roi Et," she said.

Ms Kruawan also expressed confidence that the number of foreign tourists to second-tier provinces — especially from China — will rebound as the result of the government's efforts to draw them back into Thailand.

As a part of its efforts to attract more people into Thailand, the government has waived visa-on-arrival fees for visitors from 21 countries since Nov 15, 2018. The waiver will end on April 30.

Ms Kruawan said that about 4.1 million travellers used her company's inter-provincial bus services last year — which represents an increase of about 2%.

"We are also collaborating with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to launch the 'Unseen Bangkok' campaign, which is aimed at showcasing destinations that do not usually feature on tourists' itineraries," she said.

"These include sites associated with His Majesty the King's coronation ceremony, as well as other lesser-known temples with significant historical values around Rattanakosin Island," she said.


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