In recent years Thailand has weathered a variety of tourism setbacks, including the Indian Ocean tsunami and a military coup. The country is now facing challenges from surging oil prices, fuel surcharges and a reduction in long haul flights to the Land of Smiles.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is reporting that rising fuel prices have caused it to adjust previously forecast tourism arrival figures. TAT was predicting 17 million foreign visitors in 2008, but that figure has been reduced to 16 million. This still represents a rise of 5 percent over 2007. TAT intends to counter slower growth than expected by promoting high-spend segments such as medical tourism, spa and golf.