Thailand planning to attract more arrivals from Myanmar

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Thailand’s tourism officials are planning a new campaign to attract more visitors from Myanmar for shopping and medical care, according to local Thai newspapers.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will appoint marketing executives in Myanmar to promote the trips, according to Ms Walailak Noypakak, TAT’s executive director for ASEAN, South Asia and the South Pacific, notes the Bangkok Post.

Economic growth was helping to boost the spending power of the 54 million Myanmar citizens, of which only 1.15 million had ever travelled abroad as tourists, said Walailak at a seminar held by the TAT.

The seminar heard that 142,331 tourists from Myanmar visited Thailand in the first quarter this year, an increase of almost 40 percent from the same period last year. The increase is partly due to new visa-free travel for travellers arriving by air, which was introduced last August.

TAT said it expects some 345,000 visitors from Myanmar this year, an increase of 26 percent from 2015. Each tourist is expected to spend around 43,000 Baht per trip, an increase of 5.7 percent from last year and the biggest increase from other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Next year, TAT says 370,000 Myanmar visitors (a 7.3 percent rise) will visit Thailand, each spending on average 45,946 Baht per trip – up 6.5 percent.

According to TAT, shopping would represent the largest share of spending by these tourists at 35 percent followed by accommodation at 33 percent.

“Myanmar people are well aware of the positive image of Thai tourism regarding its modernity, luxury products and perfect shopping places”, said Walailak.

She said efforts to promote Thailand as a destination for medical tourism benefitted from having representatives based in offices in Myanmar hospitals.

SOURCE: Frontier Myanmar.

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