Thailand has over 20,000 foreign visitors in Oct after gradual reopening

Thailand has over 20,000 foreign visitors in Oct after gradual reopening

Tourists walk on a beach on the Thai island of Phuket on November 1, 2021, as Thailand welcomes the first group of tourists fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 coronavirus without quarantine. (AFP photo)
Tourists walk on a beach on the Thai island of Phuket on November 1, 2021, as Thailand welcomes the first group of tourists fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 coronavirus without quarantine. (AFP photo)

Thailand welcomed 20,272 foreign tourists in October, up from 1,201 foreign arrivals in the same period a year earlier, government data showed, due to a pilot tourism programme on the islands of Phuket and Samui.

The scheme was launched ahead of the country's wider quarantine-free reopening on Nov 1, aimed at restarting the important tourism sector that has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

In the January-October period, there were 106,117 foreign tourists, but still a sharp drop from 6.7 million recorded in early 2020 before strict entry restrictions were imposed in a bid to curb infections.

The planning agency predicted there would be only 200,000 foreign tourists this year, and 5 million visitors next year. That compared with 40 million foreign arrivals who spent 1.91 trillion baht in 2019.

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