Thailand’s tourism growth between the first and third quarters recorded 3.49 per cent, according to Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kohsurat.

Unlike many countries that reported a negative tourism growth, the number of tourists during the first three quarters in Thailand continued to be positive, Mr Weerasak said.

He added that many countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom and China, voted Thailand as one of the most attractive tourist destinations despite the oil price hikes in the beginning of the year and the prevailing global economic downturn.

The minister said the government will launch different tourism promotion campaigns, such as the ‘Iron Chef Nationwide’ to promote Thai food. He said the government has allocated a budget of 374 million baht for the ministry to implement different tourism projects in 2009.

Foreign tourists generated over 600 billion baht to the country while Thai tourists generated about 300 billion baht, he said. — Bangkok Post