Thailand's August foreign tourist arrivals up 5.6%

Thailand's August foreign tourist arrivals up 5.6%

tourist walks past a monk in thailand
In this photo taken on Jun 3, 2019, a Buddhist monk walks past a tourist as she waits for a shuttle bus to Suvarnabhumi international airport in Bangkok. (Photo: AFP/Romeo Gacad) 

BANGKOK: The number of foreign tourists arriving in Thailand rose 5.59 per cent in August from a year earlier, with Chinese visitor numbers rebounding strongly, the tourism ministry said on Tuesday (Sep 10).

The 3.41 million foreign arrivals in August spent 170 billion baht (US$5.55 billion), up 7.12 per cent year-on-year, the ministry said in a statement after a Cabinet meeting.

The number of Chinese tourists, Thailand's biggest source of visitors, jumped 15.6 per cent in August from a year earlier to 1 million, after increasing 5.81 per cent in July following five months of declines.

In the January-August period, the number of foreign tourists rose 2.6 per cent year-on-year to 26.5 million.

The government believes the number of foreign travellers will reach its target of a record 40 million this year, government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat told reporters.

"The prime minister has instructed relevant agencies to address any impact of an influx of foreign tourists on the public, environment and infrastructure," she said.

Last year, there were 38.3 million foreign arrivals but a boat disaster near Phuket Island that killed 47 Chinese visitors was blamed for a fall in the numbers coming from China.

Tourism is a major driver of Thai growth, with foreign tourist receipts accounting for about 12 per cent of gross domestic product. 

Source: Reuters/jt