The number of foreign tourists in Thailand in December 2017 made a new record high of 3.5 million which contributed to more than 190 billion THB in tourism revenue. In 2018, the government will promote tourism in minor provinces to equally distribute income to communities.
Permanent Secretary for Tourism and Sports Phongpanu Savetrun said in 2017 most of the foreign tourists who visited Thailand were from East Asian countries, followed by Europe, South Asia and the U.S. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the number increased by 15.51%, generating more than 190 billion THB with an increase of 21.03%. A survey of Thai tourism found that 57% of foreign tourist respondents repeated their travel to Thailand and 53% planned their trip to Thailand only. In 2018, the government has set plans to promote tourism connection between main and minor cities in collaboration with many units such as the Ministry of Transport. More immigration officers have been sent to various border checkpoints in order to expedite the immigration entrance process. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has stepped up efforts to promote tourism in second-tier tourist destinations of Thailand. The Tourism and Sport Minister, Weerasak Kowsurat, said the government wants tourists to discover new experiences in 55
lesser known destinations across the country. To proceed with the plan, his ministry has been working with other ministries and agencies to promote these places. Mr. Weerasak said his ministry and the Ministry of Transport will sign a joint statement with a commitment to develop transport services to support tourism in less popular destinations. He said measures have been taken to ensure safety for tourists, with the support from local administrative organizations, and the Tourist Police Bureau is ready to provide security and convenience in second-tier tourist spots nationwide. NNT