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Another month, another surge in tourists to Thailand

Tanutam Thawan



Thailand’s tourist arrivals clocked up 3.4 million visitors in March 2018, an improvement of over 16 percent year-on-year.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has confirmed March finished with 3,497,260 visitors. Earnings for March were estimated at 189,158 million baht, up 22 percent year-on-year.

Pongpanu Svetarundra, permanent secretary for the tourism ministry, noted that East Asia continued to dominate the tourist supply chain with 2,256,798 visits, up nearly 18 percent.

Based on the Immigration department’s head count at land, sea and airport checkpoints, arrivals for the first three months (Q1) reached 10,608,686, up over 15 percent.

Although East Asia dominates the arrivals in March with a massive market share of 64.5%, Europe still commands a market share of 21.9%, the second highest and well ahead of South Asia (4.4%) and the Middle East (21.%).

Travel from Europe in March increased 16.75% to total 766,516 trips to Thailand during the month.

However, the Middle East market saw arrivals decline 4.33% in March to total 72,469.

The top ten supply countries during March were:

  • China (1,004,000 up 22.19%)
  • Malaysia (302,00)
  • Russia (197,00)
  • Japan (144,000)
  • Korea (143,000)
  • Laos (134,000)
  • India (121,000)
  • Germany (116,000)
  • United States (107,000)
  • United Kingdom (101,000)

Looking at the tourist arrival trends in March, Russia recorded a strong improvement of 25.55%, travel from India improved by 15.52% and from Germany 18.30%.

The ministry figures indicate revenue earned from Chinese tourists improved a staggering 40.95% in March, indicating more FIT (fully independent traveller) travellers and fewer tour group visitors.

Other nationalities spending more included residents of the UK up 24.5%, South Korea 24.23%, India 20.63% and Russia 19.19%.


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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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