Thailand almost hits 30 million


BANGKOK, 29 January 2016: Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports the country’s latest tourism figure showed international tourist arrivals posted an improvement of 20.44% during 2015.

Speaking at an Association of Thai Travel Agents and Thai Hotels Association meeting, Wednesday, Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, said the year closed with 29.8 million international tourists.

Earlier a preliminary assessment estimated 2015 would close with 28.6 million trips.

“Asia particularly China and ASEAN tourists are the major stimulators…Thailand continues to be a top choice for tourists, but we have to upgrade standards to become a quality leisure destination.”

Khao San RoadThe minister called on tourism segments work together to improve quality.

“Thailand should also improve product and service quality, safety and security, as well as improving its marketing and social media strategy.”

Released, Tuesday, the ministry’s data showed the country attracted 29,881,091 international visits in 2015 up from 24,809,683 visits in 2014.

In December alone, foreign travellers recorded 2,987,264 visits, an increase of 4.69% when compared to 2,853,476 visits during the same month in 2014.

By region, December figures showed East Asia, the Americas and South Asia, three markets that represent more than 74% of all arrivals. Other regions posted declines in December.

East Asia (ASEAN included) posted the highest growth of 10.43% from 1,652,806 to 1,825,121 visits in December.

The markets that showed improvements during the month were: Myanmar (+40.14%); China (+28.77%); South Korea (+26.41%); Laos (+15.20%); Vietnam (+5.54%); Brunei (+5.37%); and Malaysia (+2.47%).

The markets that showed declines were: Cambodia (-22.13%); Indonesia (-12.48%); Taiwan (-12.42%); Hong Kong (-5.46%); Japan (-5.42%); the Philippines (-3.05%); and Singapore (-1.63%).

Americas reported an increase of 10.01% from 131,182 visits to 144,308 visits. Argentina reported a 116.38% increase from 1,831 to 3,962.

The United States recorded the highest arrivals at 101,820 up 12.27% from 90,695 followed by Canada (25,529; -1.56%) and Brazil (6,474; -6.54%).

South Asia showed an increase in December of 6.94% from 125,075 to 133,752 visits. India led the field supplying 100,022 visits growing 10.51% from 90,508 followed by Bangladesh (11,426; +7.49%), Sri Lanka (7,549; -15.71%), Pakistan (6,367; -14.25%), and Nepal (2,978; +16.42%).

In contrast, the Middle East declined 0.29% from 55,289 to 55,128 visits. Israel recorded the highest arrivals with 14,280 visits decreasing 7.02% from 15,358 visits.

Other main markets in the Middle East: the United Arab Emirates (11,491; -12.62%); Kuwait (3,518; -0.31%); Egypt (2,195; -24.73%); and Saudi Arabia (1,256; +90.59%).

Africa recorded a slowdown of 3.09% from 23,533 to 22,805 visits. The main market South Africa slightly decreased 0.26% from 14,232 to 14,195.

Oceania posted a decline of 5.77% from 89,821 to 84,637 visits. New Zealand decreased 1.43% (10,695) and Australia down 6.47% (73,681).

Europe dropped 6.99% from 775,770 to 721,513 visits. The markets that posted declines were: Russia (-31.40%); Norway (-8.28%); Austria (-7.85%); East Europe (-6.52%); Denmark (-3.24%); Switzerland (-2.05%); and Finland (-1.70%).

The markets that showed improvements were: Spain (+6.90%); the United Kingdom (+6.51%); Italy (+5.17%); Belgium (+3.94%); the Netherlands (+2.50%); France (+2.45%); Ireland (+2.05%); Sweden (+1.40%); and Germany (+0.61%). inside-no-21


  1. It’s a shame that TTR follows the same propaganda half truths from the TAT. Figures shown are statistics that confirm the number of arrivals to the Kingdom of Thailand, however not all VISITORS are TOURISTS, therefore I trust you will use the correct terminology in future.

    Just by looking at the figures you will see that we had 1.2 million Laotian visitors to Thailand in 2015, from a population of 6.8 million that is alot of “tourists” don’t you think, obviously therefore they are “visitors” more likely traders & merchants.

    What the figure also doesn’t show is many expats live in Thailand but work offshore, therefore they fly in & out at least once a month, so one person is already 12 pax. The 300,000 to 400,000 expats living in Thailand who fly in & out on a regular basis all become part of the TAT “tourist arrival” statistics.

    Of course I could go on about these figures, eg. double pax count from Indochina hopping, etc, etc. but that is the job of TTR to figure.

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