The Tourism and Sports Ministry has confirmed that major tourism and sports events will continue as planned during the year-end holiday season amid the nation’s mourning period.
Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul and her team recently met ambassadors from 34 countries and 10 foreign chambers of commerce in Thailand to confirm that major tourism activities such as Loy Kratong and New Year Countdown 2017, along with big sports activities such as Phuket King’s Cup Regatta and Jet Ski King’s Cup, will not be cancelled.
“Thai people still welcome foreign tourists even as we mourn the great loss of His Majesty the King,” she said.
Mrs Kobkarn said the Thai tourism industry would continue to encourage visitors both at home and abroad to travel in Thailand.
The ministry has also released its guidelines for organising major tourism activities, especially New Year Countdown 2017, so that organisers and tourists will conduct themselves properly during the mourning period.
Under the guidelines, event organisers will not be allowed to have fireworks celebrations but they can still use light decorations and hold concerts during the holiday season.
Mr Kobkarn said Thailand welcomed 26.4 million foreign tourists from Jan 1 to Oct 22, growing 11.8% over the same period last year, and generated 1.31 trillion baht revenue, up 15.6% year-on-year.
According to the Tourism Department, about 1.64 million international tourists visited the country from Oct 1-22, up 4% from the same period last year, and generated 82.2 billion baht, up 7.8% year-on-year.
Thai tourism has been a strong growth driver for the Thai economy in recent years, when local consumption has been weak and exports sluggish.