Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has also suggested that he may resubmit his proposals to the cabinet on visa exemptions for visitors from India and China after the proposals were recently rejected by the government which opted instead to extend waivers on visa fees for the two countries.

Thailand’s tourism minister had predicted that 2019 will be a record-breaking year for Thailand’s tourism industry as he presented details of a ฿120 million stimulus package to give a boost to the industry as it heads towards the end of the year. The minister, however, admitted that high spending western tourists have not been coming to Thailand in the same numbers for over five years and appeared to attribute this to the country’s political difficulties and an absence of democracy.

tourism-minister predicts-record-tourist-year-for-inductry-thailand-40-million
Thai Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has announced a ฿120 tourism stimulus package aimed at domestic tourists but predicts 2019 will see a record year for Thailand’s tourism sector which will see over 40 million visitors to the Land of Smiles. He admits however that high spending western tourists have stopped coming to Thailand since 2014.

Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested that he may resubmit his proposals to the cabinet for visa exemptions for Chinese and Indian tourists as he announced a ฿120 million promotional stimulus for Thailand’s tourism industry as it moves into the last four months of the year.

‘Thailand has returned to democracy, so they can come back to visit’ – minister on foreign tourists

The Minster, however, admitted to reporters that he believes that high spending western tourists had ceased coming in the same high numbers as before to Thailand for over five years. ‘I would like to tell foreign tourists that Thailand has returned to full democracy, so they can come back to visit the country again,’ he said this week.

฿100 holidays to 10,000 lucky people monthly

The promotional programme he outlined involves inviting 10,000 lucky people in Thailand at random on a monthly basis starting on September 9th and offering them a holiday package for a nominal payment of ฿100 each. The second initiative allows tourists to claim 15% of their expenditure back by using a special e-wallet facility. The minister explained that the third facility would be a promotional scheme to encourage tourists in Thailand to holiday on weekdays instead of weekends.

Minister has floated longer opening hours for tourist areas which would allow venues to open until 4 am

Thailand’s tourism minister who also recently floated later opening hours for entertainment venues in tourist hotspots until 4 am, maintains that the tourist industry in Thailand will grow by a healthy 7% this year which will see the number of visitors cross 40 million for the first time. 

He acknowledged that this would be below the target set by the Tourist Authority of Thailand but in a year beset by economic turbulence worldwide, it would be an impressive achievement. The minister pointed out that tourists this year will have spent ฿3.37 trillion throughout the kingdom when the final numbers are in.

Further reading:

Tourism Minister’s plans for later nightlife hours receive a tepid response from Interior colleague

Foreign Minister comes out strongly against visa waiver proposals for China and India at cabinet

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