Thailand hosts over 17.5m tourists - GulfToday

Thailand hosts over 17.5m tourists


Tourists dressed in traditional Thai costumes take a selfie at Wat Arun temple in Bangkok. File/Reuters

Thailand accommodated over 17.5 million foreign tourists in the first half of 2024, who brought the Southeast Asian country a revenue of over THB825 billion (about $22.6 billion), according to Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported that the five countries with the highest number of tourists to Thailand in the reviewed period were China, Malaysia, India, the Republic of Korea and Russia.

In the last week of June alone, 660,000 international tourists visited the country, marking a 2.98 per cent increase compared to the previous week. Thailand recorded 11.95 million foreign tourist arrivals from the January to April 28 period, its tourism ministry said on Tuesday. Foreign tourism generated revenue of 575 billion baht ($15.52 billion) in that period, it said. Thailand is targeting about 40 million foreign visitors this year and the sector is a key driver of its economy.

Thailand’s economy is expected to grow 2.2% to 2.7% this year, down from a previous forecast of 2.8% to 3.3% due to a slow export recovery, a leading joint business group in May.

Exports, a key driver of the Thai economy, are now projected to increase 0.5% to 1.5% this year compared with a rise of 2% to 3% seen earlier, said the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking, which includes representatives from those sectors.

In the first three months of 2024, exports fell 0.2% year-on-year, commerce ministry data showed.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy grew 1.9% last year, lower than 2.5% growth in 2022, lagging regional peers as it confronts high household debt and borrowing costs alongside China’s slowdown. Last week, the finance ministry reduced its 2024 economic growth forecast to 2.4% from 2.8%, but said growth could still reach 3.3% if the government’s 500 billion baht ($13.5 billion) household stimulus plan launches in the fourth quarter as planned.


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