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29 Jun 2006

Tourism

The Celebration of Sixtieth Anniversary of His Majesty's Accession to the Throne and the Expansion of the Hi-End Tourism Market

State visits and official visits of Monarchs and their representatives from 25 foreign countries to join the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King's accession to the throne which were arranged on June 12-13, 2006 and the visits of those royal guests to many important places, including tourist attractions which was broadcast around the world by foreign mass media covering events in Thailand was an excellent way to publicize Thailand in many outstanding aspects, such as tourism, Thai art and culture and Thai products. It is also the way to promote Thailand's image and enhance the potentiality of Thailand tourism which will significantly contribute to the expansion of hi-end tourism market of Thailand.

The 25 countries from which the royal guests joined these royal celebrations are tourism markets that create a total income for Thailand of around THB100 billion. In 2006, there were 4.15 million tourists coming from those 25 countries and creating tourism income for Thailand totaling around THB144 billion, representing 36 percent of the entire tourism income of Thailand in 2005.

In 2006, KASIKORN RESEARCH CENTER estimates that there will be not less than 4.36 million tourists visiting Thailand from those 25 countries, increasing by 5 percent from 2005 and generating income for Thailand of around THB155 billion, an increase of 8 percent.

The 25 countries from which the royal guests coming to Thailand to join the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King's accession to the throne are the tourism markets that are located in various regions and their roles in terms of Thailand tourism are as follow:

-Eastern Asia There were royal guests from 4 countries visiting Thailand,

Malaysia, Japan, Cambodia and Brunei. For those countries, there were totally about 2.65 million tourists which generated tourism income for Thailand totaling more than THB 73 billion.

-Europe continent. Thailand received royalty from ten European countries which were England, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Luxemburg, Monaco and Liechtenstein. Tourist from Europe totaled some 1.34 million, generating a tourism revenue of around THB 66 billion in 2005.

-South Asia. There was only one royal from this region, His Royal Highness, Crown Prince of Bhutan from where arrivals in Thailand last year totaled approximately 8,000, bringing in THB 200 million to the Thai tourism industry.

- Oceania. There was only one royal visitor attending the celebration, King of Tonga. Tonga is a small archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. The country has domestic air transportation difficulties, therefore, is still a tiny tourism market for Thailand.

- The Middle East. Royal representatives came from six countries namely Unit Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan. There were around 145,000 arrivals in Thailand in 2005, producing an income of about THB 42 billion to Thailand tourism.

- Africa. Royal visitors came from three countries - Morocco, Swaziland and Lesotho - all of which are small tourism markets. Some 2,000 arrivals in Thailand in 2005 brought total tourism revenue of around THB 100 million to Thailand.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and related government bodies should collaborate with the private sector to take advantage of this grand celebration of 60th Anniversary of His Majesty the King's Accession to the Throne to organize a tourism services and related business linked to the key celebration events and several royal routes to different venues (for example a tour program to the temples, palaces, shopping at Chatujak weekend market, ancient cities, Northern OTOP villages, Royal Initiated projects, Chao Phaya cruises, Phuket and etc.) in order to attract high end market tourists from the 25 countries of the royal visitors as well as Thailand's other major tourism markets in different regions which will result in a tremendous rise in revenue and in turn will enhance the sustainability of tourism development in Thailand.

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