The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is planning to promote the country as a weekend holiday and shopping destination to other ASEAN nations in order to achieve its tourism target set for next year.

TAT has lined up marketing plans and events for ASEAN markets for the coming year to recall visitors back to the country, Director for ASEAN, South Asia and South Pacific Jamnong Junnapiya was qouted by The Nation newspaper as saying.

In the first nine months of the year, tourist arrivals from ASEAN countries to Thailand reached 4.7 million, decreasing by 11.3 percent from the same period of last year.

Visitors from Myanmar recorded the highest growth in the region with 13.2 percent, followed by Cambodia and Laos with 12.6 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively. Brunei saw the biggest drop with 29 percent.

ASEAN visitors this year will decline from the projection of eight million to seven million, however, TAT aims to maintain the same number of eight million next year when its plan to promote Thailand as a weekend vacation and shopping centre is carried out.

TAT also has plans to improve awareness of travel attractions through a TV reality show for Vietnamese tourism market which is scheduled to be broadcast in January 2015.

Key spots in Bangkok like the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Siam Square, Wat Pho, Asiatique and the Chao Phraya River will be featured in the show, which is expected to be seen by about 90 million people in Vietnam.

This year, 700,000 Vietnamese are expected to visit Thailand , the same figure as last year's. Vietnamese travellers love to visit Bangkok and Pattaya.

Charter flights between Vietnam’s central city of Danang and Udon Thani to be operated by a regional airline next February is expected to bring more Vietnamese to Thailand.-VNA