Slight increase in Thailand’s arrivals


BANGKOK, 20 March 2017: Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports international visits to Thailand, January to February, exceeded 6.18 million, a slight increase of 1.58% year-on-year.

Released last Thursday, the ministry’s data showed the country attracted 6,186,224 international over the two months, compared to 6,090,203 visits during the same period last year.

The data is based on foreign passport, or ID holders, passing through international checkpoints (land, sea and air). 

An international arrival  is generally defined as a stay of 24 hours, or more, and not limited to just leisure travel.  Most ID holders  cross borders with neighbouring countries, dawn to dusk, for trading. As the stays are less than 24 hours it is not apparent on what grounds the ministry is counting  ID visits.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said Thailand is gearing up to promote the country’s tourism industry via sporting events, gastronomy and jewelry.

Marine tourism projects are also expected to help draw more quality tourists to Thailand, she added.

February highlights  

In February, foreign travellers recorded 2,989,171 visits, down 3.23% from 3,088,876 visits during the same month last year.

By region, all markets recorded increases in February except East Asia. East Asia (ASEAN included) declined 9.07% from 2,030,624 to 1,846,377 visits.

Declines were recorded in: Hong Kong (-24.99%); China (-17.55%); Malaysia (-14.49%); Singapore (-10.40%); and Taiwan (-4.18%).

Markets that showed improvements were: Cambodia (+20.50%); Laos (+17.18%); South Korea (+10.75%); Vietnam (+7.87%); Myanmar (+7.06%); Brunei (+6.01%); Indonesia (+5.46%); Japan (+2.60%); and the Philippines (+2.24%).

South Asia recorded the highest growth of 19.18% from 100,179 to 119,391 visits. India led the field supplying 93,618 visits growing 23.29% from 75,874 followed by Bangladesh (8,675; +18.24%), Pakistan (5,607; +7.56%), Sri Lanka (4,492; -21.59%) and Nepal (3,948; +23.14%).

The Middle East posted an increase of 12.81% from 45,953 to 51,839 visits.

Israel showed the highest arrivals with 15,462 visits increasing 11.87% from 13,821 visits.

Other main markets in the Middle East: the United Arab Emirates (5,515; -7.25%); Kuwait (3,722; +12.28%); Egypt (1,791; -17.99%); and Saudi Arabia (1,592; +46.59%).

The Americas recorded a growth of 11.75% from 127,242 to 142,196 visits.

The United States recorded the highest arrivals at 87,687 up 6.50% from 82,335 followed by Canada (26,856; +1.63%), Argentina (10,465; +65.09%) and Brazil (9,349; +74.55%).

Europe increased 5.99% from 714,962 to 757,758 visits. The markets that showed improvements were: Russia (+40.90%); East Europe (+22.38%); Austria (+3.14%); and France (+1.14).

The markets that showed declines were: the Netherlands (-10.76%); Italy (-5.74%); the United Kingdom (-5.13%); Sweden (-4.87%); Germany (-3.56%); Norway (-3.56%); Denmark (-2.71%); Belgium (-2.28%); Spain (-2.06%); Switzerland (-1.70%); and Finland (-0.18%).

The Oceania reported an improvement of 2.52% from 59,630 to 61,134 visits. The main markets Australia and New Zealand show increases at 2.77% (54,280) and 0.17% (6,653) respectively.

Africa posted a slightly increase of 1.85% from 10,286 to 10,476 visits. The main market South Africa increased 4.99% from 3,691 to 3,875.


  1. these are impossible numbers. For the china market alone, it would require 175 flights daily. did anyone ever count the actual flights?

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