For 2014, overseas visitor arrival numbers have already seen a 4.91 percent drop for the January to April period, compared to the same time the previous year, with East Asia and South Asia markets showing the biggest decline, especially from China. Despite ongoing political unrest which saw martial law come into effect last month, Thailand has kept its target of reaching 30 million international visitors in 2015 and remains determined to do so. “We’ve noticed a real trend in experiential tourism with new emerging niche markets such as cooking and culinary tours, Thai culture, eco and volunteer tourism and Muay Thai based fitness boot camps, as more people choose to incorporate these into their holidays. However, since martial law put an end to street protests and increased security measures, these markets have indicated improvement. “Despite the political situation in Thailand which has led to a slight decrease in arrivals to Bangkok in particular, there has been a very low number of travel cancellations and the tourism market remains resilient,” ASEAN South Asia and South Pacific Region executive director Mrs Jamnong Junnapiya said. “Thailand has always had so much to offer visitors and it continues to offer in abundance, from the beaches, shopping and world class golf courses to the incredible natural landscapes, wonderful cuisine, vast range of accommodation options and unique Thai hospitality that proudly welcomes visitors of all nationalities and religions.” Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) officials took the opportunity to address international travel media at Thailand Travel Mart (TTM+), reinforcing the message that Thailand remains a safe place for tourists to visit despite the coup situation currently in place.
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