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Thailand sees 13.3% increase in foreign tourists over Chinese New Year

PHOTO: Thailand Business News

The Chinese New Year holiday has brought 13.3% more foreign tourists to the kingdom, according to Thailand’s tourism ministry.

Tourism minister Sudawan Wangsuphakitkoson says that during the period of February 5 – 11, Thailand enjoyed a surge in visitor numbers, in particular from short and regional medium haul countries.

Visitor numbers were up from China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea, when compared to the week before. In total, Thailand welcomed 872,235 foreign arrivals, up 102,227 compared to the previous week.

China led the way with 194,275 between February 5 – 11, Malaysia with 125,686, Russia with 48,826, South Korea with 48,643, and India with 36,793.

Following the holiday period, Sudawan says she expects foreign arrival numbers to return to their usual levels. She adds that the recently-introduced reciprocal visa waiver agreement between Thailand and China has helped boost numbers and raised tourist confidence. Visa-free arrivals for India, Taiwan and Kazakhstan have also helped.

Tourism officials are now turning their focus to April’s Songkran festival, or Thai New Year, the biggest holiday event in the Thai calendar.

The government recently confirmed that Friday, April 12, would be an added holiday. So the Songkran holiday this year will run from April 12 – 16, with PM Srettha Thavisin hoping to see more domestic travel and tourism.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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