BANGKOK, 23 December 2015: Thailand will welcome its 29 millionth visitor today at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, exceeding the country’s target of 28.8 million set for the entire year.
With eight days to the New Year countdown, 31 December, it is now very likely the country will close the year 200,000 short of 30 million tourist arrivals.
Considering the global economic woes, security scares and a deadly bomb attack at a Bangkok tourist venue, earlier in the year, the performance is nothing short of incredible.
Since then one lucky visitor whenever arrivals reached a new million milestone was showered with prizes including a roundtrip ticket for two to return to Thailand.
On average the country accumulated a million tourists in around 10 days since July. Most of the lucky visitors were welcomed at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport with a few winners welcomed at Phuket, Chiang Mai and Hat Yai.
TAT said the campaign focused the tourism industry to work towards the goal of drawing more international tourists to Thailand.
The “amazing” result has recovered most of the ground lost over two years of political discord in the country that ended in 2014 with a military coup.
Tourist officials estimated in their long-range forecasts that the country would attract around 30 million tourists by 2014. It will now hit or come very close to that result by the end of this year and it considered feasible that 2016 could see arrivals climb to around 32 million.
The highest performance in the past was 26.55 million achieved in 2013. In 2014, the kingdom attracted 24.80 million visits, down 6.54% on the 2013 performance, according to Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ data.