A Thai government spokesperson has announced yesterday that over five million foreign tourists arrived in the ‘land of smiles’ between January 1 and September 8. The total number of foreign visitors was 5,018,172, said spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) says the biggest group of tourists came from Malaysia, with 751,397 arrivals. Up next was India, with 480,825 arrivals. In third place was Laos, with 310,464 arrivals. Cambodia sent the fourth most tourists to Thailand, with a total of 249,084 arrivals.
TAT estimated that the number of tourists would reach 10 million, based on advanced flights and hotel bookings for the next three months.
The recent tourist demographics are slightly different from what the government reported last month as the top countries sending tourists to Thailand. Last month, the top countries were said to be: Malaysia, India, Laos, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.
Thailand has lured more and more Malaysian tourists across the border for short-haul holidays. The Shuttle Train service which connects Hat Yai in Thailand to Padang Besar in Malaysia also resumed services in July, making travel between the two countries much more convenient. The one-hour journey costs only 50 baht (7 Malaysian ringgits).
In a post-pandemic world, Malaysian travel to Thailand has never been easier, with the removal of Thailand Pass and insurance requirements. Last month, it was announced that Malaysians had overtaken Indians as the biggest group of tourists entering Thailand.
SOURCE: The Pattaya News
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