Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Chon Buri are expected to be the highest growth areas, but less well know destinations are also on the list, such as Rayong, Phanggna, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Surat Thani, Songkhla, Krabi, Kanchanaburi, and Trat.
When tourists, either foreign or Thai, travel to remote poorer parts of Thailand as tourists and spend money, this helps boost the income of these rural areas.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) anticipated that Chinese tourists in Thailand would increase to 1. 4 million in 2011, Director General of TAT Beijing Office said Sunday.
Director General Pong-anan Sanpanit disclosed that some 980,000 Chinese tourists had traveled to Thailand during the last seven months and the number of Chinese tourists tended to increase, local media Posttoday reported.
The agency would focus on attracting more golf players who normally come to the country in October and November, Pong-anan said.
Statistics showed that a Chinese traveler spent 3,000 baht (100. 6 U.S. dollars) a day on average but TAT aimed to enlarge the amount up to 4,000 baht (134 U.S. dollars).
The tourism industry in Thailand experienced strong growth during the first six months despite various negative global factors such as political unrest in the Arab world, the impact of the tsunami in Japan, flooding in many parts of Thailand during March and a strong baht as well as an economic recession in Europe and the US.
Thai Travel Agent Association head Charoen Wangananot said he was amazed to see double-digit growth in visitor numbers _ the highest growth during the past four decades.
Charoen said the growth might be because visitors feel safer now as the political situation here starts to improve. In addition, Thailand still have many types of attractions to suit various types of visitors including a rich culture, diverse nature, shopping and medical packages as well as facilities to host international events and fairs.
If Thailand can maintain political stability, the tourism industry will be one of the major sources of income for the country for the next three years, he said.