A story from The Thaiger yesterday stirred up a lot of suspicion that the Ministry of Sports and Tourism are being ‘flexible’ with the truth.
The story quoted the Sports and Tourism Minister saying that, since they introduced the visa-on-arrival fee waiver (for 21 countries), the numbers of arrivals has surged 20%. He said in his quotes that the ‘bounce’ came mostly from Chinese and Indian tourists.
But some of our readers didn’t go along with the PR spin out of the Minister’s office. Here’s a few of the responses (we’ve corrected a few spelling and grammar errors)…
Totally bulshyt! I am 9 years in Thailand I didn’t see so less tourists like this year – GZ
I am not sure how they arrive at these figures, when other areas are reporting downturns (well, the actual Thais on the street and in the shops are). However, even if true, I ask myself what kind of quality tourist are they encouraging to come here and spend (!?!) if the decision to come or not is based on whether they can save 2000 Baht!?!? (That implies to me that they are on a budget big time?) – BC
So free visa on arrival was announced and then like 3 weeks later (before most tourists would have even heard of this let alone booked a trip) the tourist industry is magically saved? It’s interesting to sit here and read these “creative numbers”. As if the people couldn’t see with their own eyes that this wasn’t the truth – NR
What a joke, when I arrived the International Airport was almost empty – WJ
What a load of wallop… everyone in tourism worldwide could wish they could change tourism numbers by reducing a simple fee… common… what a load of wallop – GS
Tourist numbers recovered, all because they got to save 2,000 baht (70 US dollars)? Hmmmkay – YC
And one person shared his experiences in the seaside resort of Khao Lak, 2 hours north of Phuket…
Doesn’t look like from Khao Lak point. It’s actually the worst November ever for tourism businesses. And I hear its the same in Phuket – AK
The Tourism and Sports Ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand frequently release figures that sometimes don’t balance with the anecdotal commentary from tour operators or owners of hotels.
Source - The Thaiger