Tourism Authority Of Thailand Bullshit Songkran Numbers And Tourist Police Buddy
Posted by on Apr 4, 2013 in TAT, Thailand

The Tourism Authority of Thailand continues to post make-believe numbers of foreign tourist arrivals forecast for the upcoming Songkran holiday.

The Thai Government Official News Agency posted that 2.7 millions foreign tourists would come to celebrate Songkran but the Tourism Authority of Thailand now claims that the 2.7 million number is foreign tourist arrivals and domestic travel.

The numbers from the Tourism Authority of Thailand are, at best, a wild ass guess and at worst, a complete lie.

2.7 million Songkran tourists expected is the headline at the Bangkok Post inferring that the tourists are all foreigners when the majority of “tourists” will be Thais.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects 2.71 million domestic and foreign tourists to wade into the five-day Songkran celebration beginning next week, a 10% rise from last year.

You have to read past the headline to get the story that the Tourism Authority of Thailand is selling.

Thai and foreign tourists would likely spend more than 11.12 billion baht on tourism business operators alone, an increase of 20% on the same period last year, the TAT said on Wednesday.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has absolutely no way of knowing how much will be spent during Songkran.

Of the total expected tourists, 2.03 million will be Thai, with an expected total spending of 4.45 billion baht. Some 678,000 foreigners will also take part, spending 6.67 billion baht, the TAT projected.

The Thais are not tourists.  They are family members returning home to celebrate Songkran.  The Tourism Authority of Thailand must be counting Songkran as the entire month of April since only about 20,000 foreign tourists arrive daily.

TAT said a total of 1.23 million foreigners had arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport from March 1 to 27, up 11.93% from the same period last year.

There are about 60,000 arrivals at Suvarnabhumi daily with about 40% of them being foreign tourists – so the bullshit numbers from the Tourism Authority of Thailand are about double reality.

TAT is planning to hold Songkran festival fairs in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Suphanburi, Ayutthaya, Chon Buri, Samut Prakan, Khon Kaen,Nakhon Phanom, Nongkhai, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla and Phuket from April 9 to 21, to promote tourism in all regions.

No one, not even the Tourism Authority of Thailand knows the exact dates that Songkran will be celebrated.  The Official Thai News Agency said 11-21 April, and now it is 9-21.  I have also seen events scheduled as early as 6 April.  So, just consider the entire month of April as Songkran – that is what the Tourism Authority of Thailand basically does.

But, this is the funniest part of the story:

Meanwhile, Thai Tourist Police are promoting the use of an app, Tourist Buddy, which is now available at the iTunes store.

A friend is a friend, a pal is a pal, but a buddy is a bed partner.  I don’t want to get in bed with the Tourist Police and I am sure that they spent millions of baht on a worthless app – just like the Tourism Authority of Thailand does.

The free app, currently available for iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, is packed with travel and safety advice for tourists and travellers around Thailand.

I seriously doubt this.  Most likely it will be lame information, incorrect information, and just a bunch of bullshit from the Tourist Police provided by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Tourist Police officers said the app will be available in the Android store “soon”.

I am sure that Tom at Isaan-Live will download and review this the minute it is released for Android.

According to the download page, “This app acts like your Buddy. When you are lost or need to find travel places, you can use this app for searching.”

And, wind up getting more lost.

For example, it warns travellers in Phuket and Pattaya to be aware of possible scams by jet ski operators – a constant complaint of western tourists in Thailand.

Funny, since the Thai Police are in on the scams.  Why not just tell tourists to avoid jet skis altogether.

“Before renting, please make sure that the jet-ski has insurance,” the app says, after stating that in Phuket, specifically, rental companies and agents must have insurance and be ready to show proof.

HAHAHA.  So, you ask Somchai for proof of insurance and he shows you some document in the Thai language and then scams you as soon as you return the jet ski.  DO NOT RENT JET SKIS!

Tourist Police commander Pol Maj Gen Roy Inkapairoj, in an interview printed on the news aggregator blog Thai Visual, said the release of the app immediately before Songkran was carefully planned.

You can see more of the app and some very tiny print on the worthless graphic at the above link.

“Tourist numbers will increase sharply during this event,” he was quoted as saying, “and we realise the need to provide efficient services for all tourists.”

So, why don’t the Thai Tourist Police get off their asses and patrol.  Never saw one at Koh Lanta during my three weeks there last month.

Tourist Police also opened an “i-Exhibition” on Wednesday at Suvarnabhumi airport, which will remain open until April 16 and provide help if necessary in downloading the Tourist Buddy app.

I will be looking for this when I fly out of Suvarnabhumi on 8 April, though I doubt I will be able to find it.

More worthless info from the Tourism Authority of Thailand the Thai Tourist Police.

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