TAT rolls out measures to offset terrorism fears
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TAT rolls out measures to offset terrorism fears

Tourist police patrol the skywalk at Ratchaprasong intersection to ensure safety at tourist spots in Bangkok after a series of bombings in the South last week. PATIPAT JANTHONG
Tourist police patrol the skywalk at Ratchaprasong intersection to ensure safety at tourist spots in Bangkok after a series of bombings in the South last week. PATIPAT JANTHONG

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will impose five special measures to restore tourist confidence after multiple bomb and arson attacks in seven southern provinces last week.

The agency expects the attacks to trim international tourist numbers by 200,000 from now until year-end, said TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

Despite the unexpected incidents, the TAT remains confident that this year's tourism revenue projection of 2.41 trillion baht will be achieved and that the number of tourist arrivals will be minimally affected.

Tourist arrivals to Thailand grew by 12% in the first seven months, although growth for the rest of the year might be slower.

"We will make every effort to bring them (foreign tourists) back and revisit them in the future," said Mr Yuthasak.

Last year, Thailand welcomed 29.8 million foreign tourists and projects 30 million to come this year. That figure is projected to jump to 34.1 in 2017.

Among the five measures that the TAT will organise are the Wing Len Ten Gin Hua Hin (Play, Dance and Eat in Hua Hin) festival, which will comprise a jazz music concert, food festival, marathon and cycling during the first week of September in Hua Hin. It has also planned Magnificence Thailand, which will boast Thai street food and light decorations on shopping streets in Bangkok from Oct 1-7.

Second, the TAT will give a prize to the 30th and 34th million tourists who come to Thailand in a bid to celebrate the benchmark arrival numbers.

Third, the TAT will seek cabinet approval for Sept 26 and 27 to be recognised as special holidays to celebrate World Tourism Day on Sept 27, so that Thai people will enjoy long holidays from Sept 24 to 27. That move is intended to promote domestic tourism.

Fourth, the TAT has plans to create more public awareness for year-end tourism activities such as the Thai Tiew Thai (Thais Visit Thailand) tourism fair.

The last measure is the launch of Tiew Kham Park (Travel Across Thailand) campaign to challenge domestic tourists to travel to a multitude of provinces, including those in the south as well as other regions.

The TAT established a situation monitoring centre (SMC) after a string of attacks in seven southern provinces last Friday. The centre is intended to coordinate TAT offices across the country to provide updated information in real-time.

Meanwhile, Mr Yuthasak confirmed a report that the TAT will sponsor a lavish trip for tourists who were injured during the bombing in Hua Hin last Friday. It will offer those injured first-class air tickets and five-star hotel accommodation as consolation for their ordeal.

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