Pattaya Daily News

21 April 2009 :: 17:04:44 pm 24322

Tourism organizations propose 17 measures to help revive sector

BANGKOK, April 21 Thailand main tourism organisations have proposed 17 measures to the government for implementing to help revive domestic tourism as the sector has been hard hit by the global financial crisis and domestic political turmoil, according to Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) president Kongkrit Hiranyakit.
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Mr. Kongkrit said Thailand’s tourism industry faces a crisis as the numbers of foreign tourists was expected to fall from 14.1 million in 2008 to 10.9 million in 2009 — a 22.8 per cent reduction.

The sharp decline of visitors would reduce tourism-related income from Bt540 billion in 2008 to Bt350 billion in 2009, a drop of Bt190 billion or 35 per cent, he said.

The dampened prospects are the result of the world economic recession and domestic political conflict, particularly the violent protests in April which may negatively impact foreign tourist confidence for up to half a year and eventually reduce revenue, Mr. Kongkrit said.

He added that if the industry is forced to cut the workforce by 10 per cent of its 2.57 million workers in the tourism industry or 257,000 workers would be unemployed.

The 17 measures proposed to the government included the public relations on positive image of the kingdom, speedily hold an ASEAN summit with its dialogue partners, cancelled when red-shirt protesters stormed into a Pattaya hotel on April 11.

The tourism business operators also asked the government to provide a Bt20 billion fund and offered loan to tourism operators through government banks with moderate interest at 3 per cent.

He also urged the government to lift its state of emergency decree to boost tourism but the government must make sure that the situation was secure enough to encourage foreign tourists to visit the country again.

Chairman Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn of the Thai-China Tour Operators Association said lifting of the state of emergency decree could help the foreign countries lift the travel warning against Thailand.

Pattaya Mayor Ittiphol Khunpluem said that the decree is a major factor affecting foreign tourists considering to visit Thailand.

Pattaya, a popular Eastern seaboard resort, has also been affected by the political turmoil as the number of tourists has gone down after the Songkran celebration, he said. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Tourism News

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