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Old 03-03-2011, 08:25 AM   #1
Fork Handles

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Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has urged the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the private sector to focus on "quality tourists", though operators are calling on the government to improve the country's stability to raise tourist confidence.

Abhisit urged all parties in the tourism business to focus on the quality of tourists, rather than aim for high numbers.

The industry is a key sector that will help drive the economy, he said, adding that it accounted for 7 per cent of gross domestic product last year.

Last year Thailand received 15.8 million international tourists, generating income of Bt585 million, he said.

"It was a record number of tourist arrivals, despite the country facing political problems and other negative factors over the past two years," he said.

Abhisit said the tourism sector grew 7.5 per cent, while revenue was up 11 per cent.

"If we can maintain this growth, the country will have twice as many visitors within the next 10 years."

However, tourist spending per head is decreasing. Therefore, the prime minister urged all relevant organisations to focus on quality visitors, as they would bring in more income.

Suraphon Svetasreni, the governor of the TAT, said the authority had been working with operators to seek new markets and maintain key markets such as Europe, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

He said it would approach new markets such as the Middle East, East Europe, Latin America and the two emerging markets of India and China.

Suraphon said the TAT would lure new visitors by launching the "Amazing Stopover" programme to attract passengers passing through Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport to stay on in the country.

The TAT will also hold roadshows in target counties such as Indonesia and even head to Africa and Russia.

However, the domestic political unrest and conflict between Thailand and Cambodia have disturbed tourism, he said.

Some governments, such as those of Australia and Taiwan, have issued travel advisories telling their citizens to avoid coming to Thailand.

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Old 03-03-2011, 08:34 AM   #2
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Aye its about time they stopped letting riff raff coming to los.And make it more comfortable for us respectable citzens.


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