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Bangkok, 21 December 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) achieves yet another arrival milestone in December fuelled by its "Dear Singaporean, Thanks a Million" campaign that produced two consecutive years of over one million tourist arrivals from Singapore.

A high profile airport welcome ceremony was presided over by the Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Asia and the South Pacific Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya plus representatives from the Airports of Thailand, Thai Airways International (THAI), and other public and private tourism related organisations.

Thai Tourism and Sports Minister Weersak, said: "Through the generous support of key tourism-related stakeholders, the promotion for Singaporeans received an overwhelming response that allowed us to achieve this milestone for two years running."

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Asia and the South Pacific said, "The TAT Singapore Office perfectly executed its 'Dear Singaporean, Thanks a Million' campaign from 1 August to 30 November, 2018, rolling out a countrywide cross platform promotional activity through outdoor billboards, bus wraps, cinemas, radio channels and online media.

"In addition, from 20 to 23 December, 2018, the TAT Singapore Office is hosting 12 media members and social media influencers from Singapore to witness the milestone and experience first-hand new attractions and dine at Michelin-starred restaurants in Thailand."

Ms. Angela Kwek Sui Hoon, the millionth visitor from Singapore in 2018, in a welcome group photo with H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat, Tourism and Sports Minister (3rd from right); Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Asia and the South Pacific (right); and Mr. Kajorndet Apichartrakul, Director of TAT Singapore Office (2nd from left)

All were on hand to see Ms. Angela Kwek Sui Hoon feted as the one millionth Singaporean visitor to Thailand of 2018 as she arrived at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport with THAI's flight TG414 on 21 December at 17.15 Hrs. For the milestone, she received:

From THAI: return airfare for two on the Singapore-Bangkok-Chiang Mai route, along with fast track services.

From King Power: a 100,000 Baht duty-free shopping voucher, two night's accommodation at Pullman King Power Bangkok, and a family pass to the King Power Mahanakhon SkyWalk.

From Siam Piwat: a Siam Gift shopping card and VIZ privilege card entitled at Siam Paragon, Siam Discovery and ICON Siam as well as vouchers for a dining and cooking workshop at Sook Siam Market.

From TAT: a five-day/four-night "Thanks a Million" tour package inclusive of accommodation, transfers and guide for the lucky tourist and one companion on the Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai route to promote travel between key and secondary cities in Thailand.

Singapore's current population of 3.5 million produced 1.02 million Singaporean arrivals to Thailand in 2017. The average length of stay was 5.4 days with average expenditure estimated at 35,000 Baht per person per trip.

For 2019, TAT plans to promote the charms of Northern Thailand, highlighting the secondary cities of Chiang Rai, Lampang and Lamphun, which are all easily accessible on direct Singapore to Chiang Mai flights.
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Bangkok, 19 December, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) along with representatives from the tourism-related public and private sectors hosted a special welcoming ceremony to the 10 millionth visitor from China, Ms. He WeiXin, who arrived in the kingdom today on board Thai Airways International (THAI) flight TG613 from Kunming, which touched down at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport at 17.00 Hrs.

Presiding over the high-profile airport welcome ceremony, H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said: "This marks a historic milestone between our two Asian neighbours, and we are confident that she will enjoy her local Thai experiences and will feel inspired to become a good ambassador of the kingdom.

"We hope that she will help spread the word about her memorable experience during the trip in Thailand to family, friends and everyone in China that 'Amazing Thailand' remains the preferred holiday destination. This will help strengthen the positive image of Thai tourism."

Minister of Tourism and Sports H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat and the 10 millionth visitor from China Ms. He WeiXin

The 10 millionth Chinese arrival milestone shows that TAT's projection of 10 million visitors from China, generating about 509 billion Baht in revenue, for 2018 have reached the expectation. The number also sets a new record for Thailand's No 1 source market, where the TAT operates five offices on the mainland in Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Chengdu and Guangzhou.

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Asia and the South Pacific, said: "China is Thailand's largest market with Chinese arrivals constituting one-third of the overall number of visitors to Thailand. The welcoming of the 10 millionth Chinese tourist for 2018, for the first time ever for Thailand, reiterates the Thai tourism industry's ongoing efforts to strengthen the awareness of Thailand as a top destination."

To mark the historic occasion, Ms. He WeiXin received special gifts from TAT, THAI, King Power International, ICON Siam, Central Group, Siam Wellness group and SF Corporation. The Airports of Thailand also provided a limousine transfer to her accommodation in Bangkok. Also presenting at the event were representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok, Tourist Police Bureau of Thailand and the Thai Immigration Bureau Division.

In 2017, a total of 9,805,753 Chinese visited Thailand with average expenditure estimated at 52,882 Baht per person per trip, or a total revenue of 520 billion Baht. From January to October 2018, the number of Chinese arrivals to Thailand totalled 9 million generating revenue of 495 billion Baht.

For 2019, TAT will place emphasis on promoting tourism linkages from major to secondary cities in line with the Amazing Thailand Go Local policy to better balance the distribution of tourists and tourism revenue between urban and rural areas and even out monthly travel seasonality.
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Bangkok, 17 December, 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is organising sensational "Amazing Thailand Countdown 2019" celebrations in Bangkok and four emerging tourism provinces in each of the four geographical regions.

It is projecting a total turnout of more than three million foreign and domestic visitors with an estimated total expenditure of 17.37 billion Baht over the 29 December 2018 - 1 January 2019 holiday period.

Spectacular fireworks and music and dance performances celebrating Thailand's rich and diverse cultural heritage as well as the importance of travel and tourism to the national economy will be held at the following locations:

- Bangkok: ICONSIAM, the glittering new shopping, entertainment and educational complex on the Chao Phraya River, the River of Kings;
- Northern Region: Clock Tower, Chiang Rai province;
- Northeastern Region: Clock Tower, Nakhon Phanom province;
- Central Region: Clock Tower, Ratchaburi province;
- Southern Region: Pakbara Pier, Satun province.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor (above photo), said: "The Amazing Thailand Countdown is a major event that TAT has consistently organised over the years at various destinations across the country. The purpose is to promote Thailand as the ultimate destination for Thai and overseas tourists alike. It's also an effective way to help stimulate the economy and distribute income to people in every region. More importantly, it supplements our effort to make tourism sustainable.

"This is our annual New Year gift to our foreign guests and the Thai people. I hope it will raise the happiness of everyone across the country."

TAT is estimating that during the peak days of 29 December 2018 - 1 January 2019, Thailand will welcome about 520,000 foreign visitors, generating total revenue of about 7.87 billion Baht. Domestic trips are estimated at 2.71 million, generating about 9.5 billion Baht in expenditure.

The biggest turnout of spectators for the "Amazing Thailand Countdown 2019" will be in Bangkok where the countdown will begin at 18.00 Hrs. on 31 December 2018. This is six hours of back-to-back celebrations and performances based on the theme of "The River of Prosperity" being jointly organised by TAT and ICONSIAM in collaboration with numerous other private and public sector partners.

The highlight will be a magnificent display of fireworks made from Thai sticky rice to ensure minimal environmental impact. The five-minute, five-part fireworks extravaganza will showcase the history of the Chao Phraya River pertaining to the Thai way of life, traditions and legends of Siam. One part will also celebrate Thailand's global status, highlighting the flags of all countries and their linkages with Thailand through tourism, trade, education and cultural exchange.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor (5th from left) and Mr. Narong Chearavanont, Chairman of the ICONSIAM Superlux Residence Corporation (5th from right) and partners in public and private sectors at the press conference to announce the "Amazing Thailand Countdown 2019" in Bangkok.

Mr. Yuthasak said, "We want this to be the longest and grandest display of fireworks ever on the Chao Phraya River. We estimate that more than one million people will watch this display within a 2-km radius of the ICONSIAM location."

The best visibility spots have been identified as follows: Peninsula Hotel, Millennial Hilton Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel, Sathorn Bridge, Chaloem Phrakiat Park, Sathon Pier, Police Station 2, Khlong San Pier, Sampheng Parking Lot, CAT-Bang Rak Branch, Wat Suwan Pier, Siam Commercial Bank and LHONG 1919.

The evening will also see a performance of the "Khon" Thai traditional dance in honour of it being listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.

The Countdown will be broadcast live on MCOT, PPTV, True4U, TNN and Thai PBS, from 23:05 Hrs. on 31 December 2018 to 00:20 Hrs. on 1 January 2019.
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TAT welcomes one millionth tourist from Vietnam

[ Tourism News ] Posted by root on 2018/12/13 14:20:00 (125 reads)
Bangkok, 13 December 2018 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is delighted to welcome the one millionth tourist arrival from Vietnam, a historic first between the two Southeast Asian countries.

The one millionth Vietnamese tourist, Ms. Duong Thu Trang, landed 13 December, 2018, on board Thai Airways International (THAI)'s flight TG561 from Hanoi, which touched down at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport at 12.25 Hrs.

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and the South Pacific), said: "This is truly a historic occasion, and TAT is very pleased to welcome the one millionth tourist arrival from Vietnam to Thailand in 2018. For first time Vietnamese travellers, over 90% choose Thailand and for that we are really grateful."

Ms. Duong Thu Trang was welcomed by officials and representatives from TAT, Suvarnabhumi Airport, the Immigration Department and THAI.

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing - Asia and the South Pacific, and Ms. Duong Thu Trang, the one millionth Vietnamese tourist.

To mark the occasion, the lucky arrival received special prizes including a Thailand tour package for two, return airfare for two, and gift voucher of 10,000 Baht.

After arrival, Ms. Duong Thu Trang was chauffeured to her accommodation in Bangkok. The transfer from airport was hosted by the TAT Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Office.

Vietnam is one of Thailand's most vibrant short-haul markets. With a population of over 96 million, the country is enjoying an economic boom fuelled by foreign investment from Japan, South Korea, China and Russia in several large industrial sectors. This is combined with the introduction of new low-cost carriers offering increased flight frequencies between Vietnam and Thailand.

In 2017, Thailand welcomed 970,000 visitors from Vietnam generating over 30 billion Baht in tourism-related revenue.

During 2019, the TAT HCMC Office plans to be more proactive in promoting Thailand around the country. It has scheduled marketing initiatives in both key and secondary cities around Vietnam including the capital Hanoi plus emerging destinations like Haiphong, Quang Ninh and surrounding provinces.
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Bangkok, 10 December, 2018 - Embarking upon a quality over quantity approach to future development, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has initiated a number of measures to better balance, manage, and distribute visitor numbers and preserve the quality of tourism destinations.

Minister of Tourism and Sports H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat said, "For many years, we have focussed on the quantity of tourists. It is now time to shift to quality. This does not mean seeing tourism as a "golden goose" for the economy but rather as a means of reducing social disparities and upgrading the quality of life for the Thai people."

In a broad-ranging statement, the Minister noted that Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles. "We are now getting 35 million tourists a year, which is half our population. If these numbers are not better balanced, managed and distributed, neither the guests nor hosts will be smiling."

He noted that transportation improvements were under way nationwide with improved connectivity between the hub and secondary airports and a dual-track railway, which is scheduled to be completed in five years.

The Minister noted that it was important to understand what motivates visitors to choose Thailand. Although nearly all markets are growing, but customer requirements are changing, depending on demographics, time availability and budgets.

"However, what they all want is a good experience, meeting Thai people, visiting local communities and eating Thai food," he said.

The Minister noted that the top priority is safety and security.

A number of measures have been taken to ensure the safety and security of visitors in the aftermath of the July 2018 boat accident in Phuket. In order to recoup the number of Chinese visitors, the Ministry has advocated fixing the underlying problem and communicating it strongly to the Chinese market. This means first restoring the confidence of the Chinese tourists.

The second priority is environmental protection, Minister Weerasak said.

This is the first year that the Thai government and Thai tourism private sector are working together in three areas:

1. Ban all smoking on public beaches.

2. No more plastic bags or foam containers to be allowed in national parks, both on land and sea.

3. Tourists are encouraged to use "Pintos" (food containers) while travelling in national parks.

He said the 55 secondary destinations being promoted nationwide have also been divided into different categories; such as, those which receive more than 6 million tourists and less than 6 million tourists.

The Minister added, "This is the first year that we have set limits on tourists visiting some islands. We are also highly grateful to teams of volunteers who are assisting with beach cleaning operations."

He urged tourism investors and businesspeople to "listen to the sound of nature before thinking of money. As long as you can hear the sound of nature, that is enough. We must have the courage to decide when to stop trying to bring in more numbers."

The third priority is facilitation and connectivity, especially to the secondary cities.

To attract Chinese visitors back to Thailand, the visa fees have been waived for the period of 15 November, 2018, to 15 January, 2019.

Some laws also need to be amended, he said. For example, a travel insurance fee could be included in the visa fee. If an accident occurs, insurance should cover the medical expenses. At present, this is covered by Thai taxpayers, which should not be the case.

Various categories of insurance premiums can be created to cover everything from regular driving to risky activities; such as, diving, climbing and rafting.

He added, "I am also seeking Cabinet Resolutions to change some visa regulations. For example, citizens of 38 countries can visit Thailand several times without visas. But if they arrive overland, they can enter only twice a year. Many foreigners live in neighbouring countries close to the Thai border. Therefore, we should have a visa category to accommodate them, similar to those arriving by air."

"Travellers who do not require a visa to enter Thailand by air, should also be able to similarly enter Thailand by land.

"Tourists traveling to the border checkpoints close to the 55 secondary cities come with a single entry visa. I have asked the Cabinet to approve a multiple-entry visa for border-crossings as well as a double-entry visa category with a six-month validity.

"A double entry visa will provide a convenient way for visitors to come for medical treatment, enroll for Thai cooking classes, attend international conferences, or enjoy sporting activities. I have proposed that the visa fee remain unchanged at 1,000 Baht.

*Featured image: A U-shaped skywalk at Pha Tak Suea Temple, Nong Khai, one of the 55 secondary cities.
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