PM says tourist arrivals will reach 30m
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PM says tourist arrivals will reach 30m

Chinese market reviving quickly, says spokesman

Tourists relax on a beach in Phuket at sunset. (Bangkok Post File Photo)
Tourists relax on a beach in Phuket at sunset. (Bangkok Post File Photo)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is confident the country will receive more than 30 million foreign tourist arrivals this year as the economically vital tourism sector gathers steam, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

Gen Prayut has instructed the relevant agencies to facilitate visitors’ travel and ensure their safety, Anucha Burapachaisri said at a briefing.

Initially, the government predicted more than 20 million foreign tourists this year and later increased the figure to 28 million, he said.

"Most recently, the prime minister is confident that tourist numbers will even exceed 30 million," Anucha said.

The latest projection follows China's reopening and the return of Chinese visitors.

Last year the country beat its tourism target with 11.15 million foreign arrivals, a surge from just about 428,000 the previous year when broad pandemic-related curbs were in place.

Pre-pandemic 2019 brought a record of nearly 40 million foreign tourists, including more than 11 million Chinese, who spent 1.91 trillion baht. 

The first tour group from China since Beijing ended curbs on outbound group travel arrived on a flight to Don Mueang airport on Monday.

The group is on a six-day tour of Bangkok, Pattaya and Rayong.

From Jan 1 to Feb 2, a total of 99,429 Chinese tourists arrived in the country, sending a positive signal of an economic upturn, Mr Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.


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