Council sees Q1 tourism growth of 2.1%

Council sees Q1 tourism growth of 2.1%

Tourists visit Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram in Bangkok on Jan 1. (Photo by Pornprom Sattrabhaya)
Tourists visit Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram in Bangkok on Jan 1. (Photo by Pornprom Sattrabhaya)

The Tourism Council of Thailand forecasts 11.02 million international arrivals in the first quarter of 2020, up 2.1% year-on-year.

Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), said the tourism sector will benefit from the high season, the government's visa-on-arrival fee waivers through April 31 and several holidays and celebrations, including New Year, Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day and Makha Bucha Day.

The TCT polled 600 local operators and found them hopeful for a better scenario when compared with 2019's fourth quarter, which saw many challenges globally.

Local operators are concerned about slower economic growth resulting from the US-China trade war and the US decision to remove the Generalized System of Preferences for Thailand.

The most important factor is the strengthening baht, which affects tourism directly as travellers seek to limit their spending in Thailand.

During the last quarter of 2019, Thailand welcomed 10.3 million international tourists, up 6.1% year-on-year, according to the TCT.

The number of foreign tourists last year totalled 39.62 million, up 3.8%, generating revenue of 1.93 trillion baht, up 2.9%.

The council said tourism operators could enhance their competitiveness by providing up-to-date management in the hospitality business and more effective cooperation between tourism operators and government agencies to stimulate both domestic and international markets.

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