President Susdivachr Cheewarattanaporn expects the tourism sector to be strong next year despite political protests affecting business in the current quarter.
Although many people in the tourism industry cannot predict how the political turmoil will end, they are confident the resilient market will bounce back in the short term.
However, the impact from political problems will affect growth in some segments including Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore next year. Markets such as Indonesia and India are expected to be bright.
Chinese tourists, who are the biggest market for Thailand, will continue to grow next year. ATTA projects Chinese tourist arrivals will reach five million next year, while the Tourism Authority of Thailand expects 5.4 million, up 14.89%.
ATTA said international tourist arrivals through its member agents will total 4 million this year. It projects arrivals through all channels will be at least 26 million this year and will rise to 27 million next year.
The World Tourism Organisation reported international tourist arrivals grew by 5% to 845 million in the first nine months this year. The growth was driven by Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, which saw growth of 6%.
The positive trend was reflected in international tourism receipts. Among the 25 largest international tourism earners, receipts saw double-digit growth in 10 destinations _ the US (11%), Macao (10%), Britain (18%), Thailand (28%), Hong Kong (21%), Turkey (13%), India (13%), Japan (23%), Greece (15%) and Taiwan (12%).
In the first nine months, among the top 10 source markets, Russia led growth in expenditures on trips abroad, gaining 29%. It grew from the 12th-largest outbound market in 2000 to No.5 in 2012.
China was the world's No.1 source market last year and posted a 22% increase in expenditure in outbound tourism through September 2013.