Minister Of Tourism And Sports Delusions Of Grandeur

The Minister of Tourism and Sports, in office for only about 3 months, has done nothing of substance, and now claims that Thai Tourism revenue will exceed the already ridiculous sum of 2 trillion baht in 2015.  Mathematically impossible.

This Minister of Tourism and Sports, with no tourism experience whatsoever, is making the wildest claims with nothing to back them must be suffering from delusions of grandeur.

Minister of Tourism and Sports Soi Cowboy

Minister of Tourism and Sports Soi Cowboy

Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports claims Tourism shining bright, but it is all in his head.  The image in the article is not even a beach in Thailand.

Industry foresees rising returns from China, Asean in coming years; Tourist Court urged amid safety concerns, crackdown on gangs

Says who? The Minister of Tourism and Sports?

A rare piece of good news awaits Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today: the Tourism and Sports Ministry is set to upgrade projected tourism revenue for 2015 to Bt2.2 trillion.

The Minister of Tourism and Sports has nothing to base this on.  Pure fiction.  Why not say 3 trillion?  Or 4?  There is no way to check.

Tourism Minister Somsak Pureesrisak, who will meet with the prime minister today to present his plans on how to achieve the goal, believes tourism will remain buoyant over the next two years, amid increasing inflows of Japanese and Chinese visitors in light of ongoing conflicts between the two countries.

Ridiculous.  I guess the Minister of Tourism and Sports hasn’t read the Time Magazine article on Full Moon Parties, nor the Stern Magazine article on Phuket.

Tourism revenue is expected to reach Bt2 trillion in 2014, up from the previous Bt1.8 trillion forecast.

Again, based on nothing with no way to check the amount of revenue generated by tourists, foreign or domestic.  Wild ass guesses from the Minister of Tourism and Sports.

“Tourist safety will be on the national agenda,” said the minister, who yesterday asked the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to crack down on mafia gangs in Phuket.

No, it won’t.  The Minister of Tourism and Sports can say what he wants, but the Thai Government does not care about tourist safety.  If the Minister of Tourism and Sports got the DSI to crack down on the Thai criminals, it might have some benefit.

Pattaya would be the next target area, as gangsters are now involved in businesses that affect tourists, particularly jet-skis and taxis. He acknowledged that Hong Kong had warned its people to be careful of travelling to the two cities. “That is not good for the country,” he said.

All diplomatic envoys should warn their people about Phuket and Pattaya – and Bangkok, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Lanta, Koh Larn, Krabi, and everywhere else in Thailand.  They already told the Minister of Tourism and Sports and nothing has changed.

Under the plan, Thailand aims to be a tourism hub in Asean, setting out to draw more quality tourists and to encourage them to stay longer. To facilitate this, the proposed Tourist Court must be set up.

Fail and fail again.  Thailand is not attracting quality, upscale tourists and those that are visiting are staying for shorter periods of time.  The Minister of Tourism and Sports proposed tourist court, which will never happen, does nothing to attract the rich.

The ASEAN hub goal comes at a time when the region is being urged to develop multi-country packages, to allow travellers to experience unlimited variety in terms of culture, landscape, people, flora and fauna, food, handicrafts, entertainment, shopping, recreation and excitement, within the 10 member countries of Asean.

Except, the Minister of Tourism and Sports surely knows that Thailand does not play well with others and will do nothing to cooperate with the other 9 ASEAN countries.

Thailand earned Bt984 billion in tourism revenue in 2012, from 22.35 million foreign visitors. By region, tourists from Europe (5.45 million) spent the highest portion, Bt357 billion, according to the Department of Tourism.

There is no way to know this.  The Minister of Tourism and Sports continues to base his predictions on bullshit numbers.

By country, China topped the chart, with Bt106 billion spent by 2.76 million visitors. Most tourists were from ASEAN states at 6.3 million or 28 per cent overall.

Most are not really tourists.  The Minister of Tourism and Sports and the Tourism Authority of Thailand use the UNWTO model for counting tourists – anyone that enters the country for less than one year is a tourist.  Total bullshit.

The new revenue target is set despite a global economic malaise eating into the purchasing power of tourists in several countries. This has sharply cut demand for Thai exports. But with Thailand having already welcomed 12.7 million tourists in the first half of this year, including 2.27 million from China, private business operators are convinced the industry will remain buoyant and that the new target is achievable.

Which is why the Minister of Tourism and Sports is delusional.  “Tourists” can be day labor entering Thailand 300 times per year, expats on visa runs, businessmen coming to Thailand 50 times per year, in-transit passengers that only set foot in Suvarnabhumi International Airport.  The Minister of Tourism and Sports numbers are fiction.

Piyaman Tejapaibul, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, said new infrastructure initiatives like the high-speed train would boost tourism, as the routes will facilitate travel to major provinces rich in cultural and eco-attractions.

Fixing the current infrastructure would do more.  Not scamming and ripping off tourists would do more.  Not mugging, raping and murdering tourists would do more.

President of the Association of Domestic Travel Yutthachai Soonthornrattanavate said that concrete plans were necessary, though, for long-term development. Policies must be clear and consistent, not swayed by ad-hoc problems. He also urged for a special law to empower tourism authorities in charting development plans. He agreed that safety was a top issue, but said information gathering and dissemination was also crucial.

There are no plans, no policies, no long-term development.  The Minister of Tourism and Sports and the Tourism  Authority of Thailand only want numbers of tourists and don’t give a shit about the future.

Sansern Ngaorungsi, deputy governor for Asia and the South Pacific at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), foresaw that Chinese tourists would constitute a major part of arrivals. Despite a slowdown in China’s economy, the number of arrivals is expected to hit 4.2 million this year. Plus, tourists from ASEAN would be attracted by city-to-city campaigns.

What city-to-city campaigns?  The Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Minister of Tourism and Sports continue to promote the same old shit with new names.

Chinese tourists in the first half accounted for nearly 18 per cent of all arrivals, against the 11 per cent per cent in 2012.

What the Minister of Tourism and Sports fails to mention is that the Chinese tourists come in groups, booked in China, stay at places run by Chinese, eat at Chinese restaurants, and shop at Chinese-owned stores.  The money doesn’t go to the local Thais.

AirAsia expects to do well from the plan. Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, said that while China’s demand was huge, Indochina also had big potential – as shown by a 35-per-cent rise in regional tourists in the first half.

Regionally where? Laos? Myanmar?  Cambodia?  Singapore?  Philippines?

The trend should continue over the next few years, he said.

More bullshit based on nothing.  Where are the facts?

The Minister of Tourism and Sports is just following Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s memo to push out positive bullshit about Thailand to counter the negative articles on moldy Thai rice, murders of expats in Bangkok, jet-ski scams and drownings in Phuket, and the lack of preparation for AEC 2015.

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Categories:   TAT, Thailand