May tourist arrivals up 4.6% to 2.6m

May tourist arrivals up 4.6% to 2.6m

International tourist arrivals rose to 2.6 million in May, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry data on Monday. (Bangkok Post photo)
International tourist arrivals rose to 2.6 million in May, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry data on Monday. (Bangkok Post photo)

International tourist arrivals in Thailand rose 4.6% in May from a year earlier, with revenue up 6.9%, but a strong baht could impact the lucrative industry, the Tourism and Sports Ministry said on Monday.

The number of foreign tourists stood at 2.59 million in May, led by visitors from China, Malaysia, India, Russia and the United States, generating revenue of 125 billion baht ($3.67 billion), Pongpanu Svetarundra, the ministry's permanent secretary, said in a statement.

In the January-May period, tourist numbers rose 3.2% to 14.61 million, with revenue up 5.1% to 747 billion baht, the ministry said.

The strengthening of the baht against currencies in Thailand's tourist markets, such as the dollar, the pound and the euro, might affect visitors' spending and their travel decisions to Thailand, Mr Pongpanu said.

But a stronger rouble against the baht has helped lift arrivals from Russia, he added.

Tourism accounts for 12% of the economy, a rare bright spot for the economy, whose growth has lagged regional peers in recent years.


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