In a recent statement, Weerasak Kohsurat, the country"s Tourism and Sports Minister, announced that tourism in Thailand has reported a significant growth of about 3.49 percent during the first three quarters of the year. Weerasak stressed that unlike several countries that reported a negative growth in tourism, so far Thailand only saw a positive trend during this year. He added that the results are more encouraging since they are reported at a time when Thailand was not spared by the credit crunch in addition to the anti-government demonstrations that had been dominating the news in the recent past.
Weerasak added that a number of countries including China, the UK and the US, voted Thailand as one of the most attractive tourism destinations in the world, even during the global economic downturn.
Weerasak also observed that the government would extend its support to the launch of a variety of campaigns intended to promote international tourist arrivals. One such highlight in a series of events is called the "Iron Chef Nationwide," which will be organized in the country to promote Thai food. According to the tourism official, the Thai government has sanctioned about 374 million baht for empowering the Tourism and Sports Ministry to undertake special developmental projects during next year.
Down the years, tourism has been an important factor in Thailand"s economy. Foreign visitors are helping the country generate more than 600 billion baht in revenue per year while domestic tourists generate around 300 billion.