BANGKOK (AFP): Projected growth in Thailand’s tourist arrivals this year has been cut by more than half as a result of the September 11 attacks on the United States, officials said yesterday. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said in a statement that, before September 11, visitor arrivals for the whole year had been predicted at 10.3 million, an increase of 8.32% over 2000. But, said the TAT, it has now reined in projected arrivals to 9.87 million, cutting projected annual growth to just 4%, due to an expected drop-off in the fourth quarter. While the TAT stats showed tourist arrivals were up by 7.16% from January 1 through September 30, compared with the same period in 2000, the numbers fell by 9.1% in October, compared with October 2000. Still, the TAT said, Thailand had fared better than other popular tourist destinations and a stream of tourists from Asia and Europe were still visiting the Kingdom. Families, young people, honeymooners, divers and golfers, among other groups, “can still be motivated and encouraged to travel,” the statement said. The TAT has mounted an intense publicity campaign to shore up the sector after the attacks undermined confidence in global travel, and the worldwide economic slowdown struck. The organization hopes it can offset the effects of the general decline in worldwide tourism by attracting travelers who want to avoid “risky” destinations.