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Record Revenue Boost for Thai Marine Parks

Marine national parks along Thailand’s Andaman coast and Gulf of Thailand have recently experienced a significant uptick in foreign tourist visits this year, resulting in a remarkable 21% increase in revenue over the past nine months compared to the entire fiscal year of 2023.

According to data released by the National Park Office recently, the collection of national park fees from October 1, 2023, to June 20, 2024, reached a record-breaking 1.785 billion baht (approximately 48.6 million USD). This surpasses the total collection for the entirety of 2023, which was 1.467 billion baht (about 40 million USD).

Attapol Charoenchansa, Director-General of the Department of National Parks, attributed the revenue surge to a rise in foreign tourist numbers, driven by government efforts to promote Thai tourism, particularly in marine national parks. These natural attractions, renowned for their scenic beauty and marine biodiversity, have become pivotal in attracting international visitors to Thailand.

The global recognition of Koh Kradan in Hat Chao Mai National Park, Trang Province, as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, has further boosted interest in other marine tourist destinations among foreign travelers.

Highlighting the top-performing national parks in terms of fee collection, Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park leads with 500,866,577 baht (13.6 million USD), followed by Mu Ko Similan National Park with 243,655,470 baht (6.6 million USD). Other notable contributors include Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet National Park, Ao Phang Nga National Park, and Doi Inthanon National Park.

Notably, Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park has already exceeded last year’s revenue by more than 300 million baht during the same period, underscoring its popularity among visitors.

The influx of foreign tourists surged from 2,660,308 in 2023 to 4,548,762 in 2024 for the corresponding period, marking a substantial increase of 1,888,454 visitors or 41.5%.

The collected fees will be reinvested to enhance infrastructure and amenities within the national parks, support staff salaries, facilitate personnel development, and allocate 5% (about 80 million baht) to local administrative organizations near these natural reserves.

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