THAILAND: Before the effects of the September 11 atrocities hit, Thailand’s tourism was booming, with the number of tourists visiting the country up by more than 7% on the figure for 2000. According to the latest statistics issued by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), 7,496,718 international tourists arrived between January 1 and September 30 – a 7.16% increase on the 6,995,805 arrivals during the same period last year. The figures also show that tourists were staying longer, with the average length of stay increasing from 7.84 days in 2000 to 8.01 days this year. The largest jump in arrivals was in the number of tourists from the Middle East, up by 23.52% to 171,069. The number of tourists from America, Canada and Latin America also showed a significant rise, with 511,773 people from the Americas visiting Thailand – an 8.98% increase on the 467,432 for the same period in 2000. East Asia remained Thailand’s largest market, providing 4,303,129 visitors, or 57.4% of the total. In second place was Europe, which provided 1,806,260 tourists, about 24.09% of the total.
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