Thailand sees more foreign tourists in Q1/2011

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BANGKOK, 5 May 2011  – The number of foreign tourists in the first quarter this year increased slightly partly thanks to more peaceful domestic political outlook, according to the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. 

Tourism Department Director-General Supol Sripan elaborated that the number of foreign tourists in the first quarter this year was recorded at 5,333,815 people, up 674,065 people or 14.47% as a result of the improving political climate compared to the same period last year.

The highest increase was seen in the number of European tourists while the figure from the Middle East fell because of the regional political unrest. Top ten foreign visitors to Thailand are Malaysians, Chinese, Japanese, Russians, South Koreans, British, Lao, Germans, Americans and Swedish respectively.

As for the second quarter this year, about 3.9 million foreign tourists are expected, up 37% if the country remains peaceful with no negative incidents towards the national politics or the global economy.

Possible negative factors for the Thai tourism are domestic political situation, major disasters, the Thai-Cambodian dispute, unrest in Libya, terrorism threats after the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden and the nuclear power plant crisis in Japan.

The number of foreign tourists coming to Thailand in 2010 was concluded at 15,936,400 people. As for the first four months this year, there were 1,792,089 tourists in January, 1,805,399 in February, 1,736,327 in March and 1,497,975 in April.