A temple in Bangkok (Source: Xinhua)
 
Bangkok (VNA) – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has predicted that the country will welcome some 37.5 million foreign tourists this year.

Revenue from domestic holidaymakers will surpass 1 trillion THB (30 billion USD). Overall, the tourism sector will contribute 11 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Thailand.

TAT also forecast that the sector will serve 40 million visitors in 2019 and earn 3.4 trillion THB, up 10 percent from 2018. Domestic and foreign visitors will contribute 1.12 trillion THB and 2.28 trillion THB to the sector, respectively.

The authority assigned representative offices worldwide to launch strategic plans next year. For the Middle East, medical services are considered promising, particularly to the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Oman which account for 2 percent of the total foreign arrivals in Thailand.

The average spending per head reached 7,200 THB, higher than the 5,200 THB recorded in other markets. The busy tourist season is around July and August.

Last year, the number of vacationers from America reached 1.5 million, including 1 million from the US and 250,000 from Canada. TAT hoped that tourist arrivals from America would grow by 10 percent.

China is considered the most promising market of Thailand. Currently, only 10 percent of the Chinese population hold passports, equivalent to 140 million.

Thailand is offering family, wedding, sports, and resort tourism services to China and has promoted tourism in Chinese second-grade cities to attract first-time visitors.-VNA