More than 5 million visitors arrive in first seven weeks of 2024


Thailand welcomed 5,217,379 overseas visitors between January 1 and February 18, a 49% jump year on year, Tourism and Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol reported on Tuesday.

She added that these visitors have generated tourism income of around 254.7 billion baht for Thai entrepreneurs.

During the first seven weeks of this year, China was the top source of foreign tourists to Thailand, with 987,941 arrivals, followed by Malaysia (641,605), Russia (347,837), South Korea (341,447), and India (258,269).

More than 5 million visitors arrive in first seven weeks of 2024

Sudawan attributed the jump to the success of the government’s visa-free policy, which has been implemented since September last year. This began with visa exemptions for visitors from China and Kazakhstan, which were followed by India and Taiwan in November.

Another contributing factor is the revocation of TM 6 certificate at the Sadao border checkpoint in Songkhla province, which has facilitated the travel of Malaysian tourists to Thailand’s southern region.

In the past week (February 12-18), foreign arrivals were recorded at 821,989, down 4.61% from the previous week or by 40,246 people, bringing the average foreign arrivals per day to 118,856 people.

The ministry expects foreign arrivals to rise again this week (February 19-25), thanks to the permanent visa waiver deal for Thai and Chinese citizens and an increase in flights.

More than 5 million visitors arrive in first seven weeks of 2024

Thailand and China have agreed to waive visa requirements for their citizens permanently from March 1, a policy that comes into effect soon after the free visa policy expires.

The ministry has set a revenue target for 2024 of 3.5 trillion baht, 2.3 trillion baht of which is expected to come from some 40 million foreign arrivals. Domestic tourists, meanwhile, will contribute 1.2 trillion baht from around 200-220 million person trips.