Bangkok – Thailand welcomed over 28.8 million international visitors from January to October 2017 and earned 1.47 trillion baht in tourism revenue, Pongpanu Svetarundra, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, recently told a press conference on the kingdom’s tourism performance. Both figures represented increases over 2016.
The precise number of overseas tourists for the 10 months of January to October was 28,824,753, an increase of 6.69 percent over the same period of 2016. Tourism revenue generated was 1,472,698.81 baht, up 9.31 percent over the 2016 period.
For the month of October 2017, the number of foreign tourists jumped 20.92 percent over October 2016 to 2,723,971. Tourism revenue for October 2017 also rose significantly, up 24.38 percent to a little over 142.63 billion baht.
Among source markets, Southeast Asia stood out with 29.38 percent growth in tourists sent to Thailand during October. The top 10 individual markets were China, Malaysia, Lao PDR., South Korea, India, Japan, Russia, Cambodia, the US and UK.
Yuthasak Supasorn, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor, commented: “With the launch in November of the TAT’s new ‘Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018’ marketing concept, which focuses on segments like sports, gastronomy, weddings and honeymoons, luxury and community-based tourism, we’re confident of even higher visitor growth.”
Thailand’s domestic tourism sector also showed positive growth. January to September 2017 saw Thais make 109.15 million trips in their own country (up 6.32 percent over the same 2016 period) generating more than 695.23 billion baht in revenue (up 7.34 percent over the same 2016 period).
Combining the overseas and domestic markets, total tourism revenue for January to October 2017 amounted to 2,167,932.74 baht, an 8.67 percent rise over the same 2016 period.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports highlighted the main reasons behind the growth in tourist numbers and revenue, including the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s lifting in October of the red flag imposed on Thailand since 2015 over significant safety concerns in its aviation sector. This, Pongpanu said, had since resulted in a lot of requests for more flights into Don Mueang International Airport, the second of Bangkok’s two main airports.
Also, Thai Airways International launched a new four times weekly direct Bangkok-Vienna route in November and NewGen Airways introduced new flights from Nakhon Ratchasima to Chiang Mai and Phuket, among several new routes and increased flight frequencies by both Thai and international carriers.