Pattaya Daily News

25 November 2006 :: 16:11:16 pm 26076

Thailand expects to have more than 13 million tourists in this year.

This year the Tourism Authority of Thailand expects to have more than 13 million tourists, generating income of about 450 billion baht.
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 Since the local tourism industry, especially in southern part of the country, has fully recovered from the tsunami in 2004
The occupancy rates at hotels in the southern provinces are approaching 100% for the first time in two years, according to the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA). The occupancy rates are now about 70-80% for two- and three-star hotels, 100% for three- and four-star hotels and 90% for five-star hotels. 

 Thailand has been through a lot this year, the second bombing in Hat Yai, rising oil prices, and the lingering devastating effects of the tsunami and the political unrest. 

Last year, 11.52 million foreign tourists visited Thailand, down 1.15% from the previous year, contributing 367.38 billion baht. 

 ”I still believe the prospect for foreign tourist arrivals is still good, despite lingering problems at Suvarnabhumi Airport,” the president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents said. 

 ”Some issues need to be sorted out including congestion on the second floor of the arrival area and the inconvenient parking space for tourist buses.” 

 Mr Apichart also urged authorities to allow foreign guides and tourist operators, to stay longer than 90 days in the country. 

 The Immigration Bureau now granted a one-year work permit to only one employee for each foreign tour operator with registered capital of two million baht, and three staff for companies with registered capital of more than five million baht.

 This rule did not reflect the real situation because each operator has brought about 40,000 to 50,000 tourists. And most of the foreign guides have to stay in Thailand for three to five months. 

 The ATTA already proposed to the Immigration Bureau and Labour Ministry that temporary work permits of three to five months be granted to foreign guides and tour operators.

Reporter : Warina Punyawan   Photo : Internet   Category : Tourism News

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