The official World Tourism Day 2016 celebrations will still be held in Bangkok on September 27 despite the latest spate of bombing and arson attacks in seven southern provinces, according to United Nations World Tourism Organisation secretary-general Taleb D. Rifai.
In a message to the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports in aftermath of the violent incidents in southern Thailand during August 11-13, Mr Rifai said Thailand remains an important destination for tourists from all over the world and he is confident that Thailand will continue to be a tourist destination that people of the world will visit.
Meanwhile, World Travel and Tourism Council president and CEO David Scowsill said he had talked with Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul about the security measures being implemented by the Thai government after the attacks and was confident that the situation would quickly return to normal.
He noted that although Thailand was rocked by several bomb explosions in August last year, tourist arrivals in Thailand have increased 20 percent to over 30 million this year while tourist spendings have also increased by 25 percent.
Minister Kobkarn said she would discuss with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about inviting envoys from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Hong Kong for a briefing of the latest situation and the safety measures introduced by the government in the aftermath of the bombing attacks.
Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yutthasak Supasorn said TAT would step up campaign to promote short-haul tourism market in case long-haul tourism market is still worried with safety concern.
The annual Jazz musical festival will continue to be held in Hua Hin this year to showcase that the situation has returned to normal, he said, adding that expatriates in Thailand will be asked to help spread the words to their peoples abroad the situation in Thailand.
Tourist police commander Pol Maj-Gen Surachet Hakparn said an addition of 800 tourist police would be deployed to tourist provinces to ensure better security for tourists on top of some 900 men already based there.