Thailand has welcomed a total of 26,735,583 visitor arrivals in 2013, exceeding the year’s original target of 26.1 million and representing a 19.6 per cent increase over 22,353,903 international tourists in 2012.
Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, Governor of TAT said, “This achievement brings much joy to Thailand and the country’s travel and tourism industry as a whole. These statistics are invaluable as evidence that despite the challenging factors including the ongoing political demonstrations in Bangkok, Thailand remains a popular and welcoming tourist destination.”
TAT Governor attributed the growth to the concerted efforts by the entire Thai travel and tourism industry. “We are working hand in hand in creating a memorable travel experience to tourists. During tough times, such as, the current ongoing anti-government demonstrations, we are also working hand in hand in ensuring utmost convenience to tourists, our friends of Thailand.”
According to data tabulated by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, in 2013, six Asia-Pacific and one European countries contributed more than one million visitor arrivals each. China topped the chart at 4.7 million arrivals (a 68.83 per cent jump), followed by Malaysia at 2.99 million tourists (up 17.29 per cent), Russia at 1.73 million arrivals (a 31.93 per cent growth), Japan at 1.53 million tourists (an 11.96 per cent increase), South Korea at 1.29 million arrivals (up 11.48 per cent), Lao PDR at 1.1 million (up 13.33 per cent) and India at 1.04 million visitors (a 3.61 increase).
By region, East Asia remains the largest contributor at 16.09 million arrivals (up 28.47 per cent), representing a 60.18 per cent share of the overall visitor markets to Thailand. Europe is the second largest market by region at 6.3 million visitors (an 11.62 per cent increase), followed by South Asia at 1.34 million arrivals (a 4.63 per cent growth) and the Americas at 1.17 million tourists (up 8.05 per cent).
In 2014, TAT expects to welcome 28.01 million international tourist arrivals through various tourism promotional activities under the Amazing Thailand: It Begins with the People campaign.
In related statistics, the number of visitor arrivals to Thailand at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports reached a total of 16,989, 458 in 2013, representing a 16.65 per cent increase over 2012. In December 2013, the number reached 1.59 million arrivals or 1.99 per cent year-on-year increase.