Thailand has broken its annual tourism record with the arrival of 39 million international tourists this year, up from about 38mn last year. The 39 millionth tourist was from Russia.
Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said that the Kingdom remains one of the all-time favorite destinations of global travelers.
In the closing days of 2019, 140,000 tourists are expected to arrive every day, which means that Thailand is expecting to welcome a total of 39.6mn to 39.8mn tourists by year-end.
Anna Pavlovskaya, who was traveling to Thailand with her family for the third time, said that besides tourist destinations, Thai people and their hospitality were big reasons for her return to Thailand after her first visit 21 years ago to Koh Samui in Surat Thani province.
According to the Tourism and Sports Ministry, the number of foreign arrivals during January to November this year stood at 35.87mn – an increase of 4.44% year-on-year – and generated B1.74trn in income, up by 3.67% from the year before.
This year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is expecting Thai tourism to achieve a growth rate of 4% in both volume and value to 39.7mn foreign tourists which will generate B1.96trn in income for the country.
The agency forecasts the number of tourists will reach 40.8mn in 2020, an increase of 2.5%, which will contribute B2.02trn to the economy, up 3% year-on-year.
For the Russian market, one of the most important for Thai tourism, the TAT is hoping to attract more tourists by reaching new cities such as Vladivostok, Irkutsk, Yekaterinburg, and Novosibirsk via charter flights by next year, said Srisuda Wanapinyosak, TAT deputy governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.