Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Hong Kong Office Director Titiporn Manenate said Thursday she expected the number of Macau residents visiting Thailand to increase by 12 percent next year.
Manenate made the comments yesterday on the sidelines of the “Amazing Thailand Presentation”, at the Landmark Hotel in Zape, to promote tourism in the kingdom. The authority uses the slogan “amazing THAILAND” to promote the country formerly known as Siam internationally.
According to Manenate, some 70,000 Macau’s residents visited Thailand last year, but because of the country’s political instability, the number had dropped “a little bit” this year. “Maybe we’re going to have like 65,000 [visitors from Macau this year]”, she said, adding she expected the number of tourists from the city to rise by 12 percent next year. “Next year is going to be a bright year for Thailand”, she said.
Manenate said she hoped more local residents would visit Thailand again as the political situation has stabilised. “Tourism inThailand now is back in full swing, business is back to usual. We’re ready to welcome Macau’s people to Thailand again…that’s why you can enjoy more”, she said.
Manenate also said that beginning on October 26 Thai Smile Airways will run an extra flight every day between Macau and Bangkok.
Thai Smile Airways is a lower-cost airline run by flag carrier Thai Airways. Currently there are two daily Air Macau flights and one by Thai Smile Airways between Macau and Bangkok. Air Asia operates four flights a day between the two cities.
Thailand is the fourth most popular tourism destination for locals, following mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Macau Travel Industry Council President Andy Wu Keng Kuong said that the political instability in Thailand had discouraged Macau’s residents from visiting the country. However, he said that as the political situation in Thailand had stabilised, the number of Macau’s residents visiting Thailand was rebounding.
Wu also said so far the number of Macau’s residents visiting Thailand had returned to the 70 percent level of the previous figure, adding he expected the number to return to the level of that before the recent political turmoil by the Christmas or Chinese New Year holiday period.(macaunews/macaupost)