TAT aims for 50m tourists by 2018

TAT aims for 50m tourists by 2018

Tourists take on a sightseeing boat trip on the Chao Phraya River on Wednesday. (Photo by Panupong Changchai)
Tourists take on a sightseeing boat trip on the Chao Phraya River on Wednesday. (Photo by Panupong Changchai)

Giddy in anticipation of breaking arrival records this year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand thinks the country can attract 50 million visitors in 2018.

The agency expects the number of foreign tourists to grow by 20% annually over the next three years, Post Today Online quoted TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn as saying.

Thailand predicts 36 million overseas travellers will arrive next year, with that number jumping to 43 million in 2017 and to 50 million in 2018.

Mr Yuthasak said all TAT overseas offices in 35 countries will be directed to come up with marketing plans to lure tourists to achieve the target, he added. The cabinet will be informed about the targets through Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul.

Thailand is aiming for 28.8 million foreign visitors this year and the TAT is hopeful final figures will come in closer to 30 million, despite the bombing of the Erawan shrine on Aug 17.

The Fiscal Policy Office reported 21.1 million tourists coming to Thailand from Jan 1 to Sept 17, slightly more than half of them entering the country through Suvarnabhumi airport.

The number of tourists grew 32.9% from Aug 1-17 and then plunged to 7.7% after two explosions hit the capital, it said without elaborating on the number.

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