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Thailand on track to reach visitor target


Thailand is on track to reach its forecast of 32.4 million visitors this year, the country’s tourism and sports minister said on Friday.

The 32.4 million target was set on 4 October 2016 after a slight cut from 33 million earlier. That reflected a fall in Chinese tourist numbers, after a Thai crackdown on cheap tour packages, Reuters reported.

The Thai government announced a year-long period of mourning to mark the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longst-reigning monarch, who died on 13 October 2016 at the age of 88 after 70 years on the throne.

Restrictions on festive celebrations and entertainment venues will be lifted on 14 November 2016, when the first 30 days of the mourning period for King Bhumibol Adulyadej will have passed.

Bangkok’s Grand Palace has reopened to tourists, and Thailand’s Government has moved to reassure visitors with plans to visit Thailand that all events and festivals will proceed as planned. The government announcement also lets locals know that, while the mourning period is being respected, other areas of life will be returning to normal to avoid disruption and to enable people to make a living.

All entertainment venues, parties, festivals and radio and television broadcasts will resume on 14 November 2016, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has confirmed. See: Thai festive and entertainment activities set to resume

Telling media on Friday that Thailand was on track to meet its tourism target, Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said that visitor arrivals rose 1.8% in October, or about 1.9 million, from a year earlier.

Tourism-related income rose by 15%, Phuket News reported.

In the third quarter Chinese arrivals reached 2.4 million, up 14%. Tourists from Europe numbered 1.2 million, rising 12%, and arrivals from Southeast Asian nations totalled 2.2 million, growing 15%.

Written by Peter Needham