Thailand has drawn 3.3 million foreign tourists between January and July this year, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. While about 1.9 million tourists travelled through Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport, about 600,000 travelled through Phuket International Airport. About 190,000 people travelled through Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport.
As tourism officials had predicted in June, Malaysia has now beat India as the tourist king of Thailand. While 420,000 tourists flocked to the ‘Land of Smiles’ from Malaysia, 337,000 came from India. The next three countries to send the most visitors to Thailand were Singapore, the UK, and Laos.
Thai tourism officials have made different predictions on the number of foreign visitors expected to arrive in the kingdom this year. In July, the Tourism and Sports Ministry said it expected about 9.3 million foreign visitors to arrive in the ‘Land of Smiles’ in 2022. The kingdom saw 1.9 million foreign tourists arrive from January to June 28. This raked in about 114 million baht in tourism revenue.
But not every tourism operator is optimistic about the number of foreign visitors. The president of the Thai Hotels Association has noted that while South Thailand’s hotel occupancy is expected to rise, the number of foreign arrivals in the region probably won’t rise by much. He said this is because China is still prohibiting its citizens from travelling overseas, except students and those for whom it is necessary.
The president of the Songkhla Tourism Industry Council, Somphol Cheewawattanapong, said Songkhla expects about 800,000 foreign visitors in 2022, or “about 40% of the two million visitors per year before the pandemic.”
SOURCE: Associated Press