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TAT adjusts plans to maintain tourism growth

Bangkok, Thailand<.> – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT<.>) has adjusted a number of its marketing plans and strategies…

Bangkok, Thailand<.> – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT<.>) has adjusted a number of its marketing plans and strategies as a result of the tragic attacks in New York and Washington DC.

As a result of the global travel slowdown, the previous visitor arrivals target for 2001 has been lowered from 10.30 million to 9.68 million, a small rise of 1.82% over the 9.51 million arrivals in 2000. TAT will try to maintain the average daily expenditure at 3,700 baht per person and average length of stay at 7.77 days.

TAT expects that the number of visitors, especially from the U.S. East Coast and the Middle East countries will drop. Hence, TAT plans to shift its marketing to attract visitors from less affected areas like ASEAN, East Asia and Oceania.

TAT Governor Pradech Phayakvichien said, We hope that the tension between all conflicting parties will soon ease and that there is no further violence. In the event of a wider conflict, tourism will be affected across the board. Should there be some semblance of normalcy, however, the following strategies are envisaged:

TAT will position the country as a peaceful Buddhist country that is strictly neutral with virtually no racial and religious discrimination. Visitors are warmly welcomed.

At the same time, TAT will work with government security-related agencies to enhance and ensure tourist safety and prevent any untoward incidents.

More promotion and marketing campaigns will be refocused towards short- haul and less affected markets such as ASEAN, East Asia and Oceania. TAT`s budgets will be diverted from the US market into these markets. Efforts will be made to attract visitors who may have initially intended to travel to the US, as well as to attract MICE events, honeymooners, youth and long-stay senior citizens.

TAT will strongly promote domestic tourism by working with the private sector to launch attractive tour packages. Money will also be diverted towards maintaining tourism products and services within Thailand, restoration of destinations and human resources development.

If there is further conflict, the number of visitors to Thailand during October- December 2001 may decline by 30% over the same period of 2000. This will reduce overall visitor arrivals by 6% and tourism foreign exchange revenue by 10%. Total tourism foreign exchange revenue for 2001 will also decline by 2.4% from 285 billion baht in 2000 to 278 billion baht in 2001.

In January-July 2001, visitor arrivals to Thailand totalled 5,585,077, an increase of 7.91%. of these, US visitors totalled 304,351.

Theodore Koumelis
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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.