With 19 million arrivals so far, Thailand on course to achieve 30m target
Slightly more than 19 million foreign tourists have entered Thailand from January 1 to September 17, with Malaysian, Chinese and South Korean visitors leading the arrivals list, the Tourism and Sports Ministry said on Tuesday.
The ministry estimated that the visitors generated around 795 billion baht in tourism revenue. Combined with revenue from Thai tourists, the kingdom’s total tourism revenue in the nine months surpassed 1.3 trillion baht, it added.
Thailand has projected up to 30 million arrivals this year, bringing an estimated 1.5 trillion baht to the economy.
The top five countries with the highest number of arrivals were: Malaysia - 3,076,274; China - 2,341,080; South Korea - 1,125,639; India - 1,097,395; Russia - 961,348
Last week alone saw 470,708 foreign arrivals, which translates to an average of 67,244 visitors daily.
This year has seen a 20.56% increase in tourists from Malaysia and 6.02% from China. Meanwhile, tourists from India fell by 6.39% and from South Korea by 3%. Arrivals from the Asean region have risen by 7.63% overall.
The ministry estimated that the number of foreign arrivals next week would rise to around 490,000 people, mostly from South Asia and the Asean region.
More Japanese tourists could also visit Thailand next week due to the "Silver Week" holidays, it added.
The ministry predicted a significant rise in foreign arrivals from China and Kazakhstan as the free visa measure becomes effective from September 25 for a period of five months.
Among factors hindering foreign arrivals, the ministry cited inadequate flight routes and the fact that air tickets to Thailand were still more expensive than some other destinations as the airline industry had not fully recovered yet.