Thailand’s 2011 annual tourism income rises 30%

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BANGKOK, May 21 – Despite experiencing major tourism woes, Thailand earned tourism income exceeding Bt770 billion in 2011, an increase of 31 per cent year-on-year, according to Thanitta Savetsila Maneechote, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Tourism and Sports.

Despite problems which shook tourist confidence in travel to Thailand and last year’s devastating flood, she said the country still earned Bt776.2 billion, and recorded 19.2 million tourists, an increase of nearly 21 per cent.

Of this number, 12.2 million visitors – nearly two in three, or 63.7 per cent — were revisiting Thailand, while the remaining 6.9 million tourists, slightly more than one in three, 36.2 per cent, were newcomers.

Regarding their purpose for travel, 8.9 million or 46.76 per cent were on holiday while about three million — 15.82 per cent — came for meetings.

The average stay period for foreign tourists was 9.64 days with an average spending of 4,187 baht per day, an increase of 2.66 per cent.

Meanwhile, last year, over 5.3 million Thai tourists travelled overseas, an increase of 1.11 per cent from the same period in the previous year, with average spending of 4,505 baht per day per person. Total spending for their trips abroad amounted to Bt122 billion, an increase of 0.48 per cent.