Agritourism likely to pull in B370m
Domestic agritourism is likely to generate over 370 million baht for farmers opening their farms to tourists over the five-day break next week, officials say.
Bhumisak Rasri, director of the Agricultural Economics Operation Centre (AEOC) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, said yesterday about 500,000 foreign and Thai tourists are expected to visit farmers engaging in crop and livestock farming during the long holidays.
"It is expected agrotourism will bring in about 375 million baht for farmers and those involved in related business activities," he said.
"That's one-sixth of the total two-billion-baht revenue which the government expects to receive from tourism spending during the five-day break."
Mr Bhumisak said the ministry has worked closely with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to promote domestic agritourism in line with the government's policy to stimulate domestic tourism and spending over the break.
Since Asanha Bucha Day and the end of Buddhist lent fall on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, the cabinet has declared Monday as an extra holiday, to give Thais a five-day break and boost domestic tourism.
Mr Bhumisak said officials have promoted the concept of agritourism, which is relatively new in Thailand, to those interested in learning about crops and livestock farms.
Farms in four provinces have been targeted for the venture this year.
They are Buri Ram in the Northeast, Phetchabun in the North, Nakhon Si Thammarat in the South and Nakhon Pathom in the Central Plains.
"We have 1,215 agritourism sites nationwide. Of them, 969 are owned by locals.The government came up with a policy to promote tourist visits to local farms and it wants to see farmers directly reaping benefits from the project. This will also help improve agricultural GDP," he said.
Mr Bhumisak said about two million Thai and foreign tourists are expected to travel to agritourism sites including farms by the end of this year, with Thai tourists likely to spend about 1.86 billion baht and foreign tourists about 12 billion baht.