[BANGKOK] Thailand expects around 25.5 million tourists next year, an increase of 2 per cent on the number of visitors this year, the government said on Friday, amid easing political tensions six months after a bloodless coup.
Although Thailand is still under martial law after the May 22 coup, Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul has played down the impact it has had on the industry.
"I think people have forgotten it. The tourists have forgotten already so that's why they have returned," she said.
The minister said Thailand is expected to see a revenue of 1.8 trillion baht from tourism in 2015.
The industry has been marred by sometimes violent street protests that left nearly 30 people dead. October was the only month that have shown an improvement on number of tourists arrivals on last year, while the number of tourist arrivals between January to October still fell 8.72 per cent from a year earlier to 19.73 million visitors.
Thailand's tourist industry accounts for nearly 10 per cent of GDP.