Thailand sets new tourist arrival record

With ten days left until the New Year, Thailand set a new annual record for tourist arrivals with 38.26 million visitors, demonstrating that the Kingdom’s appeal as a destination is enduring and sustainable.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has forecast that 39.8 million foreign visitors will touch down in Thailand in 2019. With arrivals in November up 5.9 percent year-on-year, that target appears to within reach, as December is also part of the high tourism season.

Thailand has remained a powerful tourism draw despite the rise of new and emerging destinations in the region. Few of them can match Thailand’s tourism prowess, however, as the Kingdom still has a treasure trove of cultural attractions, white-sand beaches, shopping, and nightlife.

In recent years, Thailand’s tourism industry has also developed more niche markets, including eco-tourism, adventure tourism, homestays, and health and wellness tourism, among others. The meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions industry is also strong and hosts many foreign visitors.

The TAT expects the tourism industry will generate $64.9 billion in 2019, an increase of 4 percent over last year. The agency has already set a target of 40.8 million arrivals in 2020 for a rise of 2.5 percent, and a 3-percent revenue rise to $66.8 billion.

A woman from India, Devanshi Deepak Kesaria, set the record as the 38,260,000th tourist, according to Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Deputy Governor of the TAT.

Kesaria, who arrived from Mumbai with friends, was awarded two free round-trip tickets and accommodation for her next trip to Thailand. The visit was her first to the Kingdom, and she said she was planning on enjoying the beaches in Pattaya, Thai food, and shopping.

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