Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Yukol Limlamthong, reported late last week that a top flight government committee agreed to raise Thailand’s 2015 tourism revenue target another 10% from Bt2 trillion to Bt2.2 trillion.
He was reporting on the outcome of a top-level tourism committee chaired by Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, that endorsed a proposal by the Tourism and Sports Minister, Somsak Pureesrisak to lift the target.
“The adjustment is based on the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Action Plan 2014 target that estimates international tourists will generate Bt1.3 trillion, while Thais will circulate Bt700,000 million in tourism income in the domestic travel market.”
Thailand aims to be a tourism hub in ASEAN, but the policy is to concentrate on quality tourists (wealthy tourists). They will be encouraged to stay longer and spend more. Long-stay or retiree travel is one important area that can generate high revenue, but Thailand is losing out to Malaysia mainly due to easier visa rules and a concession that allows retirees to buy property.