Tourism business for the year 2016 is expected to grow an average of 8 percent with anticipated revenue totalling 2.3 trillion baht compared to last year’s 2.21 trillion baht, said Mr Yutthasak Supasorn, Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand. Tourism growth during the festive period from Christmas to New Year met the 10 percent target generating revenue estimated at about 20 billion baht, said the governor, adding that hotel bookings for most hotels are full until March.
Mr Surapong Techaruvichit, president of Thai Hotels Association, disclosed that hotel bookings for the festive season this year were at the same level registered last year with tourists from Malaysia and East Asia such as China and South Korea and Thai tourists forming the bulk of tourists.
New Year’s revelers, meanwhile, are returned to Bangkok in droves after the New Year break and the start of the working week. The Bangkok-bound influx caused traffic gridlocks at the main road arteries. Bus terminals were are also jammed with passengers. Government spokesman Maj-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd hailed the tax refund scheme for yearend shopping as a success generating spending of up to 15 billion baht for the weeklong shopping spree. Similar tax refund scheme is likely to be reintroduced during Songkran festival, according to an informed Finance Ministry’s source.