Tourism: Thailand trying to bounce back

The number of tourists visiting Thailand fell by 6.6% in 2014, mainly because of the political crisis and the fall of the ruble.
Some 24.7 million tourists visited Thailand in 2014, down 6.6% from 26.7 million in 2013 according to official figures.
The decrease in the number of tourists has also represented a decrease of 5.8% of revenues from tourism, according to Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavarangkul.
Political crisis and collapse of the ruble
According to the Minister of Tourism, tourism decline is due to the political crisis that has disrupted Thailand in the first half of 2014, and international economics.
The collapse of the Russian ruble has contributed to a fall of 21% of Russian tourist arrivals in November, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Russians are the second largest group of tourists visiting Thailand after the Chinese.
Phuket is one of the destinations most affected by the decline: according Anoma Wongyai, the director of the Tourism Authority of Phuket, the number of Russian tourists has dropped by nearly 40%.
“Discover Thainess 2015,” the new TAT campaign
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has a new campaign featuring the main aspects of Thai culture to boost tourism in 2015.
January 14, 2015, the opening ceremony of the new campaign “Discover Thainess 2015” is scheduled in Bangkok with a huge parade in the center of the capital from 18 hours, starting at the National Stadium through the intersection of Pathumwan to Lumpini Park Avenue through Rama I Road.

Thailand is a 13% increase in international arrivals in 2015 and 16% of the corresponding revenue. In late November 2014, the French country hosted 566.952 tourists, an increase of 3.5% compared to the same period in 2013.
Competition from Burma
The tourism industry is booming in Burma since the democratic opening began in 2010, and the attitude of increasingly open government to the international community.
Sites such as the temples of Bagan, Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, and archipelagos Myeik become popular destinations for South-East Asia.
An estimated five million tourists visit Burma in 2015 is a very significant increase compared to 2014, which has already registered a record 3.05 million people: a very rapid progression for a country considered a pariah there there is only a few years.
If the predictions come true in 2015, tourism growth will be even more important than between 2013 and 2014 (2.05 million tourists visited Burma in 2013).
The Burmese government plans to open a “development bank of tourism” that lend money to entrepreneurs interested in opening tourism-related businesses to meet the growing flow of visitors.
The Columbus Dispatch, an American online newspaper mentions for the first time Burma, along with other developing countries such as Cuba, as a new “hot spot” tourist destinations this year.
The publication also found that Asian cruises could become an important trend from this year, especially as countries like China are banking on an increase in cruise tourism capacity.
An increase in the number of rich people and the Chinese middle class means in recent years more and more Chinese travelers to Southeast Asia, including Thailand, also believes the Columbus Dispatch.

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