Tourism sector confident as traditional celebrations continue
Tourism officials are confident that visitors will maintain their travel plans to the Kingdom this year despite the subdued atmosphere associated with the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, as traditional celebrations for holidays such as Loy Krathong, Christmas and the New Year are all set to proceed as originally planned.
Tourism and entertainment are significant contributors to the economy and jobs, and maintaining a reasonably steady level of tourist arrivals is essential to sustaining and expanding the momentum of Thailand’s economic recovery.
Many events will be taking place and holidays will be observed and celebrated. The official mourning period is scheduled to last for one year, although government officials have said many entertainment and other activities that had ceased could begin again on November 14, one month after the monarch’s passing, although people are generally expected not to be overly boisterous.
“Some annual events like the Loy Krathong festival, to be held on November 14, Christmas celebrations, New Year countdowns, and Chinese and New Year celebrations will be going as planned,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
“Although there have been minimal disruptions to events, festivals and tourism activities, with entertainment restrictions being lifted from November 14, visitors can feel assured that they will spend their time here experiencing a warm welcome and continue with their holiday plans,” Yuthasak added.
Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said she expects that Thailand will still receive over 32.4 million tourist this year with tourist arrivals in October were up 1.8 percent over the previous year, totaling 1.9 million. Her ministry has forecast revenue of $46.6 billion from foreign tourists this year, up 11.7 percent from 2015. Last year, Thailand set a new record for tourist arrivals with 29.9 million.