Thai tourism re­silient

Travel Bulletin - - THAILAND -

Re­cent po­lit­i­cal un­rest, re­bel­lious at­tacks and the threat of ter­ror­ism have not stopped the con­stant in­flux of in­ter­na­tional visi­tors look­ing to holiday in Thai­land’s tourist hot spots. Tourism Au­thor­ity Thai­land (TAT) told trav­elbul­letin “life in the cap­i­tal city and across the coun­try still con­tin­ues as nor­mal” with busi­ness as usual across tourist sites, ho­tels, restau­rants and shop­ping malls. Thai­land fin­ished 2015 with a record 29.8 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional visi­tors, up 20% from the 24 mil­lion in 2014. The year also saw tourism rev­enue of 2.21 tril­lion baht gen­er­ated and the av­er­age length of stay jump from 10 to 12 days. “This im­plies that peo­ple who travel to Thai­land tend to stay longer, spend and ex­plore more,” said a spokesper­son for TAT. TAT re­veals alerts put out for tourists still had some af­fect, seen mainly in tourists avoid­ing cer­tain ar­eas deemed risky by au­thor­i­ties. They said Aus­tralians were even less likely than other na­tions to be de­terred by these warn­ings. Aus­tralia’s Depart­ment of For­eign Af­fairs and Trade of­fi­cially ad­vises Aussie tourists to ex­er­cise a “high de­gree of cau­tion” through­out the king­dom, with a re­cent warn­ing high­light­ing the “on­go­ing trans­mis­sion” of Zika virus, while a “do not travel” alert is in place for the coun­try’s south­ern tip due to at­tacks and bomb­ings re­sult­ing in deaths or in­juries on a scar­ily reg­u­lar ba­sis. “Those who know Thai­land well and who have trav­elled to Thai­land re­cently would know the alerts are only for cer­tain parts of Thai­land and not for the main tourist hotspots,” TAT ex­plains. Phuket, Bangkok, Koh Sa­mui, Chi­ang Mai, Khao Lak and Krabi re­main the most pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tions, TAT con­firms. TAT em­pha­sises that tourist safety re­mains an “on­go­ing pri­or­ity” for Thai­land, a coun­try that re­lies heav­ily on the tourist dol­lar. Ex­am­ples in­clude a Bangkok and Phuket clam­p­down on il­licit taxi op­er­a­tions, Pat­taya and Hua Hin beach­side walks be­ing cleared of il­le­gal busi­ness op­er­a­tions and more sur­veil­lance cam­eras and street light­ing be­ing in­stalled in tourist des­ti­na­tions as well as the in­tro­duc­tion of tourist police. Last month Thai au­thor­i­ties put in place mea­sures to tighten law en­force­ment on traf­fic rules in hopes of im­prov­ing road safety. The new reg­u­la­tions cover 10 key traf­fic rules in­clud­ing driv­ing on the pave­ment, driv­ing with­out a li­cense, driv­ing against the traf­fic, not giv­ing way to pedes­tri­ans at cross­ings and driv­ing while in­tox­i­cated. Pro­vid­ing tourists with pos­i­tive and last­ing mem­o­ries of the coun­try re­mains a top pri­or­ity for TAT.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.