Thailand remains on track to draw 10 million tourists this year, although Americans are the only westerners to rank in the top five visitor group.
Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said the top five groups arriving by air were, in order, Indians, Russians, South Koreans, Singaporeans and Americans. As expected, land-border arrivals were led by Malaysians, Laotians, Cambodians, Vietnamese and Indonesian.
As of Nov. 19, just over 8.2 million foreign arrivals had been recorded, although the majority of land crossings were by migrant laborers.
Regardless of border crossing, Malaysians topped the list at 1.45 million, Indians at 780,836, Singaporeans at 431,510, Laotians at 391,446 and Vietnamese at 382,075 people. All tourists together spent an estimated 281.1 billion baht.
The influx of Americans is helping Pattaya’s Thai-French Petanque Club boost its revenues, as they and returning French nationals are renting more courts and drinking more while watching the World Cup, club President Somya Boonphan said.