BANGKOK: Thailand's prime minister is confident the country will receive more than 30 million foreign tourist arrivals this year as the economically vital tourism sector gathers steam, a government spokesperson said on Tuesday (Feb 7).
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed relevant agencies to facilitate visitors with travel and ensure their safety, spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri told a briefing.
Initially, the government predicted more than 20 million foreign tourists this year and later increased that to 28 million, he said.
"Most recently, the prime minister is confident that tourist numbers will even exceed 30 million," Anucha said.
The latest projection follows China's border reopening and the return of Chinese tourists.
In 2022, Thailand beat its tourism target with 11.15 million foreign visitors, a surge from just about 428,000 the previous year when broad pandemic-related travel curbs were in place.
Pre-pandemic 2019 saw a record of nearly 40 million foreign tourists, who spent 1.91 trillion baht (US$56.78 billion).