Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) Governor, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn has extended a warm word of thanks and gratitude to the thousands of tourists who maintained their confidence in visiting Thailand in the aftermath of the 11-12 August incidents in the Southern parts of the country.
He also thanked the entire Thai private sector for their show of unity in the face of adversity. “We would like to thank everyone in the tourism sector who is contributed to the revival of Thailand’s tourism. This includes the tourists world-wide who still keep coming to our destinations as well as both the private and governmental sectors who have unitedly given their hands in restoring the situation back to normal in a short time.”
Visitor arrival statistics in the immediate aftermath of the attacks in various parts of Thailand indicated just a small percentage drop, which lasted exactly a week. As of 19 August, arrivals began increasing again. It is expected that the arrivals will fluctuate over the next few days but return to steady growth by September. TAT is optimistic that the projected arrivals of 33 million visitors this year can be met.
Among some of the high-profile visits and events that have proceeded normally are:
– A Phuket call by the Pacific Eden cruise ship, with 1,343 passengers and 620 crew members. Phuket was one of the major destinations of Pacific Eden’s one-month inaugural sailing in Asia.
– The Travel Managers Conference from Australia, comprising 230 participants to join the team-building, and workshop activities during 19-21 August, 2016, at the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong in Bangkok.
– Among Japanese travellers, several pre-booked school tours from Japan have gone ahead as planned with organisers expressing full confidence in the safety and security of the kingdom.
Mr. Yuthasak credited several factors for this minimal impact, but cited the positive force of social media as playing a large role.
“It is clear that visitors no longer just rely on mainstream news delivered via TV and print for their information. Social media networks can also be used effectively to provide accurate and updated news,” he added.
“We did this well via our in-house crisis management channels at TAT. I am happy to report that our private sector, which has a very high stake in warding off cancellations, also did a good job. The thousands of visitors who were in Thailand at the time were also able to make use of their own social media channels to communicate the all-clear.”
He noted that all the various recovery campaigns (read more here: Thailand formulating strategies to boost industry and tourist confidence after recent incidents) would remain in place, especially those targeted at women visitors in this month marking the auspicious 84th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.
“We look forward to communicating a strong business-as-usual message at all the international travel trade events over the course of the rest of the year. And once more, we thank all our visitors, security agencies and the private sector for their support and confidence in Thailand.”