57k passengers – 49k international – arriving at Suvarnabhumi daily

PHOTO: Suvarnabhumi Airport records 57,000 international travellers arriving Thursday. (via Markus Winkler / Unsplash)

Tourism is ramping up in Thailand. Bangkok’s primary airport and the main international hub of Thailand, Suvarnabhumi Airport, reported 57,000 international travellers arriving on Thursday. That number is inching shockingly close to 60,000 people a day that was arriving each day before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The National reported that 25 international flights arrived, with 49,000 out of the 57,000 total passengers being foreigners. This information must be inaccurate however if that would mean about 2,200 passengers per flight. Flight Stats puts the total number of flights Thursday at about 266.

The figures were confirmed officially by immigration officers in an announcement yesterday. At the pre-pandemic peak, immigration officers at Suvarnabhumi Airport were processing 3,500 passports every 30 minutes. This allowed them to handle the 3,000 passengers per hour arriving internationally easily, without anyone having to wait outside the main immigration area.

This time though, the airport isn’t quite as prepared the handle the influx of new international travellers. Arriving tourists are posting online that the immigration process has been crowded and difficult, the others have reported smooth sailing depending on the time of day.

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Immigration was quick to pass the buck though, saying that their processes and staff were fine, but language and communication issues, as well as problems with airlines, have slowed the process down significantly.

After arrival, passengers have also reported long queues for taxis, prompting officials to call for more taxi drivers to come and even request the help of Grab drivers.

Many in the tourism industry have been disheartened by what they feel is a terrible first impression for those arriving internationally in Thailand. They have taken to social media to urge all relevant agencies to work together as quickly as possible to make the arrival experience a smoother and faster process. They noted that high season is approaching and hopefully international arrivals will only increase more and more.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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