The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) projects foreign tourist arrivals will reach 30.3 million this year, growing 22% and surpassing the Tourism Authority of Thailand's target of 28.8 million visitors.
Tourism revenue from foreign tourists is expected to surge 21% to 1.42 trillion baht, slightly up from the government's projection of 1.4 trillion.
The soaring Chinese tourist market is the main driver of Thai tourism amid the downturn in the European market, which has been affected by the global economic slowdown.
The TCT expects arrivals from China will jump 76% to 8.12 million this year.
It projects Chinese tourists will boost foreign visitor arrivals by 9.12% to 8.14 million in the fourth quarter.
"Although the Thai tourism business has seen a quick rebound after the Ratchaprasong bombing, the government should not be inattentive about the safety issue for both local and international travellers," TCT president Ittirit Kinglek said.
He said the government should work to maintain the momentum of the Chinese market, as it would be the main tourism growth driver next year.
In the third quarter, the TCT's Thailand Tourism Confidence Index stood at 98 points, down from 102 in the previous quarter due to the impact of the Aug 17 Erawan Shrine bombing, local economic sluggishness and fiercer competition.
The TCT surveyed 350 foreign travellers, of whom 66% were repeat tourists, and 81% said they were satisfied with their visit to Thailand.
The survey showed the downturn in the European market affected the average length of stay and spending per trip of foreign travellers.
This indicated a decrease in the average length of stay for the full year to 9.3 days from 9.85 days last year, dragging down spending per head per trip to 47,010 baht from 47,271 baht.
The survey found the main risk to Thai tourism was the movement of the baht, with 35% of respondents saying they might cancel their trip if the baht grew stronger against their currency.
For domestic tourism, the TCT surveyed 350 Thai travellers and found only 30% planned to travel in the fourth quarter, down from 51% in the same period last year.
In addition, only 39% of respondents knew about individual tax deductions of up to 15,000 baht a year for hotel accommodation, while 31% said the information about the measure was unclear.
Yutthachai Soonthornrattanavate, president of the Association of Domestic Travel, said domestic tourism would face a slowdown due to the local economic downturn. Therefore, the government and tourism organisations such the TAT and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau should integrate their efforts to boost tourism.
The government should continue its measure prohibiting civil servants and state enterprise officers from travelling abroad next year except within Asean.
Mr Yutthachai suggests increasing the individual tax deduction for hotel accommodation to 50,000 baht.
That would serve to encourage people with incomes of 50,000 to 60,000 baht a month to travel more inside the country, he said.