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Thailand welcomes nearly 6 million foreigners in first 8 weeks of 2024

Tourists arriving Thailand Suvarnabhumi
FILE PHOTO: Tourists arriving Thailand Suvarnabhumi

The Thai tourism minister says a total of 5,981,234 international visitors arrived in the kingdom between January 1 and February 25. Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol estimates this has resulted in tourism revenue of over 290 billion baht.

Most visitors are from China, with 1,114,316 during the first 8 weeks of the year, dominating the first place for arrivals. They were followed by Malaysia, with 759,828, and Russia, with 397,006 travellers. South Korea and India are also proving to be lucrative markets, with 387,475 and 293,129 arrivals respectively.

Thailand welcomed 763,855 foreign arrivals during the past week of February 19 – 25, a decrease of 8.19% on the week before. This is still an average of 109,123 arrivals per day.

Thailand is now considered in the bridge season between Chinese New Year and Songkran.

Sudawan points out that European visitors tend to travel less towards the end of their winter holidays, which would explain the drop. She says the number of international arrivals should rise again this week, thanks in no small part to the permanent visa waiver agreement between China and Thailand, which takes effect on Friday, March 1.

Other visa waiver schemes are in place with Kazakhstan, India, and Taiwan, although these arrangements are temporary.

The tourism ministry has set a target of 3.5 trillion baht in tourism revenue for this year. Of this, 2.3 trillion is expected to come from some 40 million international tourists, while domestic travellers would account for 1.2 trillion baht.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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