Thailand beats 2022 tourism target with 11.15m arrivals

Thailand beats 2022 tourism target with 11.15m arrivals

Malaysia, India and Singapore were top three source markets in 2022

Devotees and tourists visit the Erawan Shrine at Ratchaprasong Intersection, Bangkok, to seek blessings on Monday. The shrine is popular around the Lunar New Year, which fell over the weekend. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Devotees and tourists visit the Erawan Shrine at Ratchaprasong Intersection, Bangkok, to seek blessings on Monday. The shrine is popular around the Lunar New Year, which fell over the weekend. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

Thailand received 11.15 million foreign visitors in 2022, a surge from just about 428,000 the previous year when broad travel curbs were in place, tourism ministry data showed on Tuesday.

The figures, which beat the government's target, reflect a solid turnaround as Thailand's tries to revive its important tourism industry, which bore the brunt of its strict entry and quarantine policies during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In December, there were 2.24 million foreign tourists, compared with 230,497 in the same period a year earlier.

Before the coronavirus pandemic struck in 2019, the kingdom saw a record of nearly 40 million foreign tourists for the full year.

Malaysia, India and Singapore were Thailand's top three source markets last year, the Tourism and Sports Ministry said.

In 2023, the government is expecting 25 million international visitors, including at least five million from China, Thailand's biggest source market before the pandemic.

China’s reopening is expected to further boost Thailand’s vital tourism, which before the pandemic accounted for about 12% of gross domestic product in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

The cabinet on Tuesday approved a promotional budget of 3.95 billion baht to stimulate domestic travel and draw in foreigners, government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri said.

Domestic tourism will be allocated 2 billion baht from February to September, and the remainder will be used to promote secondary cities to international travellers, he said.


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