Government measures to arrest Thailand's tourism slump
The Thai government and country's tourism industry have agreed on a slew of measures to maintain visitor levels during the current global slump.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced that the government has approved measures to help local operators promote more domestic travel and international visitor arrivals. These involve financial help, waiver of visa fees, and a range of tactical marketing measures, such as special campaigns, especially via online media. Measures include loans totalling THB5 billion (US$149 million) being offered to smaller tourism operators, the extended exemption of tourist visa fees until 4 March 2010, and a 50 percent entry fee discount for visitors to Thailand's national parks.
A number of tourism marketing measures have also been approved, including restoring the image of Thailand worldwide by launching special campaigns along with stepped-up online marketing. TAT Deputy Governor for marketing communications, Juthaporn Rerngronasa, said; "There is no doubt that these are challenging times. We are extremely happy to be receiving the maximum possible assistance and cooperation from right across the industry. Everybody realizes the importance of travel and tourism to the country's economy."