Thailand attracted more than 8.8 million foreign visitors between January and April, led by tourists from China, similarly to last year, said Kasikorn Research Centre, which expects the number of foreign visitors for the entire year to reach 25.4 million.
K-Research expects the number of Chinese tourists to Thailand this year to reach between 3.8 million and 4 million, compared with 2.76 million last year.
In the first quarter of this year, the tourism sector faced some adverse domestic factors such as the rise in the minimum daily wage nationwide and the strong baht relative to regional and major currencies, not to mention negative external factors such as the sluggish European Union economy and stiff competition for tourism revenue from regional rivals.
The Thai tourism sector continued to grow during the first four months as relatively low-cost, varied tourism attractions, attentive service and warm hospitality still drew foreign visitors.
Asians still account for the major share of foreign tourists to Thailand as Asian economic growth is stronger than other regions’.
In the first four months, the number of foreign tourists to Thailand reached 8.84 million, up 19 per cent from the same period last year. The number of Asian tourists rose by 27 per cent, more than from other regions.
Tourists from China accounted for most of the foreign visitors at 1.53 million, up 92.8 per cent from the same period last year. Furthermore, Thailand also attracted increasing number of Japanese and South Korean tourists.
The number of European tourists grew by 11.9 per cent, but the growth rate is slower, similar to the same period last year, because of the continuing weakness of the EU economy. However, the number of Russian tourists increased sharply in the first four months, at 7.33 million visitors, up 29.9 per cent from the same period last year.
K-Research expects a total of 25.4 million foreign visitors to Thailand this year, an increase of 13.6 per cent. Thailand should earn revenue from tourism of about Bt1.14 trillion.