Foreign visitors 2009 Set to Reach 14 Million

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BANGKOK, Nov 4 (TNA) – Thailand’s tourism industry, much affected by domestic political conflicts and the global economic slowdown, has now recovered with about 14 million foreign tourists expected to visit the kingdom in 2009 as earlier targeted, according to Minister of Tourism and Sports Chumphon Silpa-archa. Mr Chumphon said that more than 9.8 million foreign tourists visited Thailand between January and September, while an average of 30,000 travellers arrived in the kingdom at Suvarnabhumi Airport every day in October.

He said that for 12 days in October, the country’s main airport welcomed more than 30,000 tourists daily.

By the end of December, the minister said, the number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand for this calendar year will reach or surpass 14 million, the number of visitors the ministry had earlier targeted.

Mr Chumphon added that a number of charter flights landing at the country’s renowned seaside resorts of Phuket, Krabi, Phangnga and Samui also increased in the same period, leading to full hotel occupancy in the areas.

In the northern region, especially Chiang Mai, Mr Chumphon said he has been informed by the president of the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association that the hotel occupancy rate there is between 65 and 80 per cent.

He said it is likely that the number will increase as many interesting events and activities will be held in November and December, the winter season, including the Royal Flora Expo to celebrate the birthday of His Majesty the King on December 5. (TNA)

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