Chinese tourists at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand
THAILAND’s tourism confidence index has risen to 102 points for the fourth quarter period this year from 93 in the previous quarter thanks to a weakened baht and the start of the high season.
The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) forecast predicts that the number of foreign arrivals in Q4 will increase 17.7 per cent year-on-year to 9.15 million visitors.
Meanwhile, total arrivals for 2016 is expected to grow 13.5 per cent to 33.9 million visitors with tourist receipts amounting to 1.74 trillion baht (US$50 billion).
The index is based on responses from 600 tourism operators nationwide.
Despite fears over the zero-dollar tour crackdown, the index showed that the majority of operators remained confident, said TCT president Ittirit Kinglake.
Earlier on Tuesday, tourism and sports minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul discussed package prices with operators and agreed to setting a standard of a minimum of 1,000 baht per person per day.
On Wednesday, Kobkarn also raised the meeting’s result with representatives from the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA).
Given the development, TCT members are now more sanguine that expected, explained Ittirit.
“Although authorities have not approved the (standard package prices) yet, this clearer picture will bring about a better sentiment for the rest of the year,” he said.
TCT further forecasted that Chinese arrivals to Thailand would increase 25.4 per cent to 2.65 million visitors in the third quarter.
The momentum is expected to continue to the end of 2016, with Chinese arrivals set to rise 43.4 per cent to 2.61 million visitors. This will set a new record of 10.9 million Chinese visitors for this year.