By The Nation
The highest numbers of visitors were from China, making up 8,518,031 people, up 1.71 per cent, and generating revenue of Bt426.88 billion. They were followed by Malaysia with 2,960,896, an increase of 5.56 per cent, spending Bt75.62 billion, up 6.69 per cent; India with 1,471,218, up 25.60 per cent, generating Bt62.03 billion, up 31.14 per cent; South Korea with 1,399,440, up 4.87 per cent, generating Bt55.61 billion, up 5.23 per cent and Laos with 1,383,410, up 12.16 per cent, generating Bt39.61 billion, up 12.70 per cent.
Tourist numbers from Europe dropped to 4,698,239 people, down 1.83 per cent, generating revenue of Bt324.75 billion, down 2.03 per cent, of which 970,696 people were from Russia, down 2.95 per cent, generating Bt66.37 billion, down 3.94 per cent, the United Kingdom with 719,599, up 0.84 per cent, generating Bt55.66 billion, up 2.20 per cent and Germany, 601,916 people, down 3.69 per cent, generating Bt37.70 billion, down 3.10 per cent.
Overall tourists from the Americas rose to 1,159,116 people, up 2.20 per cent, generating revenue of Bt81.91 billion, up 1.84 per cent, with most coming from the US (828,864 people, up 4.72 per cent, generating revenue of Bt58.84 billion, up 5.37 per cent), while tourists from the Middle East region decreased to 541,399 people, down 9.11 per cent, generating revenue of Bt43.31 billon, down 7.83 per cent.
In September alone, the number of tourists visiting stood at 2,902,731 people, up 10.11 per cent, generating revenue of Bt139.62 billion, up 8.73 per cent, with China again topping the list with 852,130 people, up 31.56 per cent, generating revenue of Bt45.01 billion, up 31.63 per cent, followed by Malaysia (331,643 people, down 7.56 per cent, revenue Bt8.59 billion, down 8.68 per cent), Laos (161,295 people, up 16.80 per cent, revenue Bt4.91 billion, up 12.64 per cent), India (155,998 people, up 26.90 per cent, revenue Bt7.03 billion, up 30.86 per cent) and Japan (154,514 people, up 9.01 per cent, revenue Bt7.51 billion, up 9.47 per cent).
Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), expressed satisfaction at the numbers and said he expects the number of tourists by the end of this year to meet the target of 39.8 million people, up approximately 5 per cent from 3.82 million people in the previous year.
Meanwhile, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing Asia and South Pacific Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya added that TAT is still targeting 11 million visitors from China for 2019 and will continue promoting Thailand to Indian tourists to achieve its target of 2 million.