Thailand targets 19 million visitors in 2012



The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has approved a strategic plan to drive tourism growth in an era of unprecedented change in the global operating environment and regular occurrences of unpredictable external factors.
Also agreed at the TAT’s annual Marketing Action Plan 2012 (MAP) meeting held between 23-26 June 2011 was a marketing plan that will take advantage of emerging opportunities in a world of changing demographics and technological innovation.
According to Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Suraphon Svetasreni, “Responding to constant and incessant change has become our biggest challenge. As the country’s primary tourism marketing agency responsible for driving growth in one of Thailand’s most important socio-economic sectors, we spent the entire meeting trying to identify ways of ensuring an effective and efficient marketing plan.”
He said the TAT has set a 2012 target of 19.5 million international tourist arrivals, generating approximate revenue of 760 billion Baht (24.85 billion USD) increasing around 9 per cent above 2011. The target for domestic tourism is 93 million trips with revenue of 453 billion Baht (14.70 billion USD). This year, domestic tourism will be a major focus of attention with stepped-up efforts to enhance the fun and appeal of travelling within the country. 
This will involve boosting the image of domestic travel, organising specific activities to promote it, publicising the many new emerging products and services that deliver value for money, and using domestic travel as a means of building national identity.
 “In spite of all the changes taking place globally, the TAT still has many opportunities to increase visitor arrivals. We can see many positive factors; such as, continuing economic growth in many countries particularly in this region, the positive effect of people who do not cancel their travel plans but merely change their destinations in the event of unpredictable natural phenomena, and the progressive liberalisation of economic growth and transportation in the ASEAN region”, said Suraphon.
“In addition, Thailand continues to have a number of unique selling points in terms of a variety of tourist attractions, as a shopping paradise and for online marketing. These factors will help us to reach our targets.”