Visitor numbers down in Oct as Chinese stay away

Visitor numbers down in Oct as Chinese stay away

Chinese tourists visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok in October. The Tourism and Sports Ministry reports that Chinese arrivals were down nearly 20% over the same month last year. (File photo)
Chinese tourists visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok in October. The Tourism and Sports Ministry reports that Chinese arrivals were down nearly 20% over the same month last year. (File photo)

Thailand welcomed 2.71 million visitors in October, down 0.51% year-on-year, on falling numbers of Chinese tourists, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Nonetheless, Chinese remained the largest and highest-spending group of foreign arrivals.

Permanent secretary Pongpanu Svetarundra said on Wednesday that of the 2.71 million visitors, 1.85 million (68%) came from East Asia. Smaller numbers came from Europe, South Asia, North America, Oceania, the Middle East and Africa.

He attributed the drop in total arrivals to the fall off in Chinese tourists

Last month, about 646,000 Chinese travellers came here, a drop of 19.8% year-on-year. They spent 34.6 billion baht, down by 16.5% on the same month in 2017.

Chinese nationals remained the largest group of visitors last month, followed by those from Malaysia, Laos, South Korea, Japan, India, Russia, the United States, Cambodia and Singapore.

Overall tourism income amounted to 141 billion baht, up 0.66%. The biggest spenders came from China, followed by Malaysia, Russia, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Britain, Australia, Laos and India.

Full year-to-date figures, however, increased over the same period last year. From January to October 9.2 million Chinese tourists visited the country and spent 495 billion baht. The total number of visitors during the period was 31.25 million visitors, up by 7.84%. Total spending by visitors hit 1.63 trillion baht, up 9.98% over January-October 2017.

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