Tourism council predicts 30 million foreign tourists in Thailand this year

Thailand’s tourist numbers have certainly picked up lately and some groups are very optimistic about numbers this year. The Tourism Industry Council of Thailand predicts that over 30 million foreign tourists will travel to Thailand in 2023, bringing 3 trillion baht to Thailand’s economy.

The number of international tourists in Thailand before the Covid-19 pandemic was 40 million in 2019.

Council chairman Chamnan Srisawat said yesterday that the tourist demand this year would be double that of last year. He said Thailand’s tourism was rapidly recovering, and on an upward trend, The Pattaya News reported.

Chamnan noted that the challenge now is restrengthening the private sector, which took a hit from the pandemic. He said the private sector still needed supportive funding, labour, knowledge, and innovation to welcome tourists back to the kingdom.

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In the first half of January, Thailand welcomed 913,013 foreign tourists, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Governor of the TAT Yuthasak Supsasorn revealed that Russia has overtaken Malaysia as the Number 1 tourism market. The top tourist groups in Thailand from January 1-15 were:

  1. Russians (99,593)
  2. Malaysians (89,461)
  3. South Koreans (47,471)
  4. Indians (41,863)
  5. Laotians (41,863)

As time goes on, Chinese tourists are expected to make their way into the top five. In the first half of January, Chinese nationals ranked 10th, totalling 28,643.

There are four tourism markets that the TAT expects will bring over one million tourists into the kingdom this year, including five million from China, four million from Malaysia, two million from India, and 1.1-1.2 million from South Korea.

In 2023, the TAT hopes that foreign tourists will generate 80% of the tourism revenue generated by the 40 million tourists who arrived in 2019 before the pandemic.

As for domestic tourists, the TAT is launching a “Thai Tiew Thai” (“Thais travel Thailand”) campaign with the goal of 250 million domestic tourists/trips this year, said Yuthasak.

Will the Tourism Industry Council of Thailand’s prediction of 30 million foreign tourists come true in Thailand this year? We’ll have to wait and see.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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