CHIANG MAI, Thailand, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has said they set a growth target of 8 percent in tourism revenue from the international market during the the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2018 held in northern Thai city of Chiang Mai.
ASEAN refers to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Thailand welcomed some 35 million international visitors in 2017 while tourism earnings from international tourists are said to reach some 53 billion U.S. dollars.
Tanes Petsuwan, TAT deputy governor for marketing communications, on Wednesday highlighted the country's "unbeatable geographic location" as a major reason why visitor arrivals will continue to grow strongly in the years ahead.
According to Tanes, Thailand has the best connections within the entire region as there are approximately 30 overland border checkpoints open for travel by international visitors with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Malaysia, as well as four Friendship Bridges with Laos, and one with Myanmar with more being planned.
"The Asian Highway is growing rapidly and will provide extensive road connectivity beyond the neighboring countries to both China and India while rail travel is going to be the next generation of land transport infrastructure to emerge, with high-speed links now in the design and planning stage," Tanes said.
He noted that Thailand's international airports serve 135 scheduled and chartered airlines and foreign low-cost airlines are boosting their frequencies to Bangkok as well as other popular tourism destinations, such as Phuket and Chiang Mai.
Tanes also emphasized that they would keep working to promote ASEAN as a single destination.