The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is seeking Bt600 million from the Central Fund for a tourism promotion campaign and the holding of events, domestically and abroad, highlighting the architectural marvel of Wat Arun Ratchawararam Temple, or Wat Arun, and Nakhon Ratchasima, in an effort to increase tourist arrivals to six million during the last quarter of this year.
Tourism and Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol said yesterday (Tuesday) that the money will mostly be spent on four projects designed to increase arrivals and tourism-related revenue, estimated at about 31 billion baht.
New Year countdown events, on the theme of “Thailand Festival Experience” will be held in five regions of Thailand, with the highlights being firework and son et lumière displays at Wat Arun and a ten-day festival in front of Nakhon Ratchasima’s provincial hall, said the minister.
TAT Governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool said the TAT will also support the private sector in holding their New Year countdown events, at Icon Siam and Central World shopping malls, as it has done in previous years.
For the Loy Krathong festival in November, she said the TAT will host a major event on the Phadung Krung Kasem canal and Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.
The governor forecasts that at least seven million tourists will visit Thailand during the last quarter of this year, with about two million arrivals expected in October and 2.5 million in both November and December.
Up to October 15 this year, tourist arrivals from China were 2,645,885, short of the TAT’s target of four million. Total tourist arrivals over the same period were around 21 million, with Malaysians topping the arrival list, followed by Chinese, South Koreans, Indians and Russians.
In Beijing, the TAT will be signing letters of intent tomorrow (Thursday) with its eight Chinese partners, namely Trip.com, Ant International, Meituan, Huawei, Spring Airlines, Xinhua Net iQIYI and JegoTrip, all of which are major travel agents in China, said Thapanee, adding that Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who is currently in Beijing attending the international forum on China’s Belt and Road Initiatives, will witness the signing.